||Parsley writes regularly for the 'ART ROCKER'
Archived below are some of his previous contributions.
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 67
CD Review : Thunderbirds - World Premiere soundtrack album (Silva
Screen FILMCD 606) Well, like the wages of sin, the wages of Art Rocker
are hell, but similarly the perks are bloody marvellous. It was at last
Wednesday's Dutronc gig & I was handed my own early copy of this amazing
collection of Barry Gray's most well known musical hour. How could I not
review it ?!
1. Main Title - pucker start including countdown, action and march sequences
2. Sunprobe - nail biting stress theme with a little reprieve at the end.
3. Tracy Island and International Rescue - the music that leads up to
4. Monorail to Disaster from 'The Perils of Penelope' - this has an amazing
opening you won't have heard before going into the familiar percussion
and strings leading up to danger. Occasionally there are freaky bits that
were apparently cut from the action.
5. Thunderbirds are go! - This starts with the Thunderbird 5 sequence
before blending seamlessly into the march that accompanied other launches.
Further march sequences follow, building to a full 4 and a half minutes
worth, including the version from TV21 Themes.
6. Dangerous Game - Latin Rhythm instrumental from 'The Cham Cham' - great
schmoozer for your next cocktail party.
7. Suite from 'Vault of Death' - this is the whole 8mins47 of the London
pastiche mischievous sequence as the Tracy boys try to break into the
Bank of England to save a bank clerk, whilst Parker thinks they're trying
to stop his old prison cellmate 'Light Fingered Fred'. Cracking piano
break version of the theme in the middle.
8. The Man from MI.5 - a full 4mins28 of this delicious sax led spy theme.
Buy the album for this alone - it's great !! Goes from a straight rhythm
theme into an excellent jazzy groovy one.
9. Suite from 'Desperate Intruder' - This is the Hood's arabic swansong,
and immediately you see Brains up to his neck in sand sweating, his glasses
having been nicked by that rotter.
10. Commercial Break - this brings together the short 'stings' for advert
breaks with music arranged for Lyons Maid ice cream adverts. Hey, let's
go out and get some FAB ice lollies !
11. Dangerous Game from 'The Cham Cham' - Sylvia Anderson as Lady Penelope
as Greta bleedin' Garbot a.ka. Wanda Lamour is magnificent, and also hilarious.
12. Let's Play Ad Lib from 'The Cham Cham' - This is cool jazz for club
sequences. Great to hear it with the dialogue removed.
13. Lady Penelope on the Move - lost track from United Artists 'Thunderbirds
Are Go!' album. Suite from 'Pit of Peril' :
14. The Fate of the Sidewinder - familiar lurching number whose movement
matched the ill-fated machine it accompanied.
15. Pit of Peril - saving the guys music gives way to a succession of
16. Rescue - more danger, but eventually the boys pull the guys out.
17. Jeremiah and Lady Penelope from 'The Impostors' - Beverley Hillbillies
From 'Trapped In The Sky' :
18. Deadly Plot - The Hood and Fireflash - More evil Hoodfest music gives
way to triumphant theme.
19. Fireflash Landing - This is the one you'll remember from the 'aircraft
about to crash' sequences, but it has some extra bits, that I don't remember
in the show, but that you can hear clearly, and which are amazing, including
extra bits of double bass.
20. FAB 1 Pursuit - Penelope and Parker give the Hood a rough ride as
21. The Tracy Lounge Piano - One for sitting around the pool and bashing
out on the white grand piano. Good to know this cheesy stuff will still
be played in 2066 by Virgil Tracy, although apparently it's Barry Gray
22. End Titles - The full monty ending.
The booklet is delightfully comprehensive and includes listings of musicians
and studio sessions. Ralph Titterton, who I remember from Fanderson (Gerry
Anderson fan club) fun in the eighties, painstakingly pieced Barry Gray's
recording back together from where they were sitting in a lock up in Chelsea.
Mere mortals like ourselves can now enjoy the fruits of his labours. The
sleeve features a super rare photo of Jeff Tracy wearing international
rescue uniform. I gather this was a test photo that has had to be doctored,
because in the absence of what became their logo, the Doctor Barnardo's
logo was temporarily used. The booklet features a pleasing well-matched
selection of the images that the music evokes. The guys behind this commercial
release are the same guys that have been putting together the excellent
Fanderson releases. Nice that their good work will get to reach a wider
audience now. Can't wait for the UFO double CD !
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 66
Concert Review : Stone Soul Picnic - Fab Club 08/02/03
The guys from Nottingham made their first appearance in London for 2 years,
and I dashed over from Art Rocker at the Metro to have a look. The club
was a little lightly attended, and we put this down to the collapsing
central London transport system e.g. no central line. It picked up a bit
during the band's performance. It seemed the lounge/Hammond set had turned
out for the show, with senior lunar lounge crew, and a Gene Drayton Unit
member in attendance. Quite right too, because these guys were right up
their alley. Justin on keyboards began with some Hammond problems. Apparently
Hammond and Leslie had been dead on arrival, and they also conked out
again 2 songs into the set. It troubled the audience very little as he
effortlessly switched to electric piano, whilst a guy appeared from nowhere
and tinkered with it till it was back in action. They did many lounge
classics, including an excellent 'full' version of the Dave Allen theme.
Their Scottish drummer was particularly impressive, keeping his jacket
on for the whole set - very rare - while stonking the beat. As the venue
filled out the audience got enough confidence to dance, and the groovy
set was made for it. Well done guys.
TV review : Never mind the Buzzcocks BBC2 Monday 9pm 10/02/03
Switched on to find myself staring at Christian of Art Rocker faves 'The
Datsuns' on this pop quiz show. I was a bit gutted that I missed how he
was introduced, but maybe I'll remember to catch the repeat. Other guests
included the singer out of Dr. Hook. Happily there were no artistic tantrums
to get in the way of the comedy, and Christian was particularly successful
at spotting the guy that sang 60's hit 'Come Outside' in the identity
parade bit, from his feeling that he had a bit of 'savvi' about him. He
also managed to remember the lyrics to his own songs - a test that many
music celebrities fail at (as did the guy from Dr. Hook).
Radio review : The 99p challenge Radio 4 Tuesday 6:30pm 11/02/03
Sue Perkins hosts this reassuringly surreal quiz show, where 4 people
that are definitely involved in comedy (although you can't be sure exactly
what they do) provide wacky answers to wacky challenges for the chance
of winning 99p. These included school announcements, where they came up
with a fresh slant on 'school outings', and a schedule for an Arabic TV
station. Like a lot of these shows you never know how much they've had
a chance to prepare or how much is scripted, but either way there's usually
enough to manage a wry grin at least. Armando Ianucci was his usual disturbing
Concert : Anne Husick, Monday, 17/02/03, 12 Bar Club, 22-23 Denmark St,
Obviously I wouldn't dare plug all my gigs this week that Anne is appearing
at, but if you want to take in her set without the danger of seeing me
on stage, she will be doing it again at the wonderful 12 Bar Club next
Buy : Strawberry Crisp, oat clusters with real strawberry pieces (breakfast
cereal). Lidl £1.29
This stuff has got the lot. It's majorly sprinkled with freeze dried strawberries
like astronauts have, and it's totally delicious whilst being stupidly
cheap. Eat and enjoy.
Buy : Mobile phones without the network at Comet
I confess I have not been a massive fan of Comet, Currys, Dixons et al
after an expose revealed how they got prices down. They agreed to provide
their own after sales instead of manufacturers and then did very little
with items returned as faulty... and their prices were still often higher
than John Lewis or Argos, and they gave you the feeling you were buying
from a street trader. Anyway, last weekend I did find myself at Comet
because they have the most reasonable prices I could find for SIM-free
mobile phones (not attached to any specific phone network). As I sort
of suspected they immediately took me into a back room where they hoped
to convince me that a contract was more sensible, but they let me out
quite promptly when I was clear about not being interested. I was also
served promptly. Well done, Comet Mill Hill.
Useless facts (thanks firstname.lastname@example.org) : Every time you lick
a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie. Certain frogs can be frozen
solid then thawed, and continue living.
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 65
Quick venue guide : Germany/Austria
I was out with The Adventures of Parsley for 5 dates in Germany/Austria,
and it was a major hoot. 3 of my guys were new to this touring malarkey,
and they responded to it by staying out far too late and having a whale
of a time. Here's a guide to the 3 places we played that I haven't told
you about before.
Key: D - Dancing afterwards, S - Shower at venue, H - Hotel accommodation
(otherwise it was at someone's house), R - Restaurant meal / T - Take
away at venue (otherwise was in house catering)
Gleis 22, Münster - [cafe during the day, wacky artistic sculptures surround
Waldsee, Freiburg - D R [hall at side of top restaurant, great but obscure
post-gig music] Sonderbar, Feldkirch (Austria) - H [groovy bierkeller
underneath excellent hotel]
Looking forward to going back in May with The SolarFlares.
Film review : The Manchurian Candidate
Yes, it's not new, but we watched it in the back of the van on tour, and
it was interesting and has some resonance just now. Soldiers captured
in Korea by the Russians are brainwashed into believing that they have
just achieved a victory thanks to one of their number, played by Laurence
Harvey. He's being groomed as a puppet for the Russians. The problem is
that their officer, excellently played by Frank Sinatra, is having flashback
dreams about the brainwashing, where the Russians get Harvey to kill in
cold blood as a demonstration. It's very well done and a real quality
item. The question it raises now is whether the paranoia of such 'spy'
style films plays into the hands of the draconians who can always imagine
how evil the 'other' side might be. The film was originally delayed for
release because it involves assassination and coincided with Kennedy's.
Angela Lansbury of 'Murder She Wrote' is amazing as Harvey's horrible
mother. Janet Leigh is delicious as the girl that helps Frank when he's
losing it in New York.
Overall Rating : thumbs firmly up. Makes you think, and is beautiful in
black and white, with very evocative music. It has emphatically stood
the test of time.
Hero of the week : Iain 'man of sideburns' Pitchford
Iain plays bass with Honey and the Hucksters, and has also survived driving
for the Siers, and last week for the Adventures of Parsley. With a background
in nursing the mentally ill, he is obviously prime tour driver material.
He is also well qualified from his appearance on 'world's worst drivers',
where he showed fine command of the vernacular. [The day after he was
on, some of his patients had difficulty convincing him they were not crazy
when they all claimed to have seen him on TV]. He kept calm, and greeted
the longest tour drives with good humour. He was a star on the merchandising
sales, and a hoot in the apres gig. All in all, an excellent man.
Buy : When record players ruled the Earth
This week's Radio Times (1-7th Feb) has a brand new top-loading oak veneer
record player on page 133, that is sorely tempting. It's got built in
speakers and a pre-dansette look. It also comes with CD and cassette for
those who have some of their music in those wacky formats !
Concert review : King Size 5, Downstairs at the Kings Head, Crouch End,
I was tempted into this by the commanding presence of bass player Sean
Kelly, whose music CV includes Pimp Floyd, Holy Man Jones, Madness covers
band 'One Step Behind', The Helium Divers and my own Adventures of Parsley,
where he is known as Sage. The evening kicked off with stand up comedy,
which despite being okay was going down like the proverbial lead balloon.
The second guy wisely cut his stint short, got his biggest laugh for giving
up, and then reappeared with a sax to lead the band. They were resplendent
in wide collared shirts and jackets. The set was groovy fun, but I could
say that despite being great musicians and a cool band, they kept themselves
out of the GDU league by the use of a synth instead of the obligatory
backbreaking Hammond. A guy who sang an excellent James Brown joined them
at one point for a couple of numbers. The drummer was delivering razor
sharp energetic funk. Guitar, keys and sax performances were highly polished.
Sean, as ever, was the solid anchorman for the groove, and as a result
it seemed every girl in the house was dancing.
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 64
Album Review : Dee Rangers - So Far _Out_ So Good
Well I was honoured to record and perform with these crazy Swedes last
week, and it was a total hoot. The guys also gave me a copy of their last
amazing album. Here's the run down :
Side A 1. Total Despair : Stonker to open 'in the night time' style, but
2. Baby Come Home : "Roses are red, violets are blue, I feel so small
when I'm with you", raunchy Stones-style grinder, with a bluesy solo.
3. Gotta Move : Street rocker with a nice hook line, and the boys join
in the driving chorus.
4. Please come back to me : Stooges-style slower one with howling harmonica
5. A lot of fun : Driving riff gives way to a chant to having fun. With
the reverb, singer Mike sounds a bit like Dave Vanian on this one. Nice
tremolo guitar chords.
6. Out of orbit : Killer spy guitar riff instrumental. Nice bass solo
twangs before howling harmonica.
Side B 1. Way out of line : This side opens with a growling rocker of
a number. Quite Monkees backing vocal moment in the middle.
2. Ultimate Expansion : phased guitar opens this chirpy little party number.
What's this ultimate expansion ? Well it sure as hell ain't another branch
3. Get Out Of My Mind : Cool Bo Diddley style rocking number.
4. Jungle Limo : the guys monkey around with some chamber drum sound and
some bendy tremolo guitar licks. Maybe the infinite monkeys recorded this
before they wrote Shakespeare.
5.My Lawn Is Green : Traditional r'n'b harmonica fest.
6. I Can't Understand : The guys finish with an organ augmented low pop
They penned all these great songs except 'My Lawn Is Green'. The joy of
the Dee Rangers on stage is that they are amazing to look at because they
go against the grain of anything you could expect. Johnny Elfström is
the tallest thinnest bass player you've ever seen, with a West Coast freakbeat
look. Alongside him Mike Eriksson on vocals is a surprise package: He
looks mild-mannered and he's the shortest Swede you have ever seen. Then
he opens his mouth and you get a great raunchy vocal delivery, and he
also plays a mean harmonica (or pig snout as they call it). Nicke Öhman
is the fantastic twangy guitarist, and except for being right-handed he
is definitely a member of the Swedish order of Dan Whaley/Charles Napiers,
with his chunky sideburns and impish grin. Bringing up the rear of the
stage on drums is Uffe Pettersson. With deliciously rock length hair and
a very continental moustache, he pounds the skins and delivers the grins
for the boys. The album comes with an insert where Steve Coleman (www.garage.clara.net)
gives his take on the band. All in all this is great stuff from a band
with great attitude.
Concert : Philip Jeays, Battersea Barge 02/02/03
I saw Philip Jeays in Edinburgh a few years ago. He sang a song about
being jealous of his friend Geoff, and I was in painful agony after laughing
so hard. Jake Thakeray for the 21st Century.
More useless facts : (thanks to email@example.com)
If you are locked in a sealed room, you die of carbon dioxide poisoning
before you die of oxygen deprivation.
Rene Descartes came up with the theory of co-ordinate geometry by looking
at a fly walk across a tiled ceiling.
The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which stated
a man could not beat his wife with anything wider than his thumb.
"I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
The word "samba" means "to rub navels together."
The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
Duelling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood
The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the
cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life."
The most common name in the world is Mohammed.
Armoured knights raised their visors to identify themselves when they
rode past their king. This custom has become the modern military salute.
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 63
Concert Review : Arthur Lee & Love play Forever Changes at Royal Festival
Well, this is pretty surreal stuff. I wanted to go to this concert, but
found it was sold out when I first heard about it. Then through someone's
very nice generosity I got tickets for my brother and me. The Royal Festival
Hall is amazing and excellent. Good sound and an unpredictable magic.
This began with the audience as I spotted a BBC Health correspondent,
an ex-girlfriend from 16 years ago, Mike Lines (who I was in The Surrounds
with), and the wonderful Charlie Bennett from the Interstellar Overcoat.
Every time I looked around I spotted someone else, and my seat in the
sideways facing 'Annexe' encouraged it. My brother told me how the most
Spanish of Love's output accompanied him in a car when he was driving
around Spain. I remembered how I had seen the cover of Forever Changes
recreated in chalk on a pavement in Blackpool. Meanwhile, a band from
Scotland, who may have been called 'Drag', were supporting. They were
perfectly nice, despite the fact that less than half of the audience took
their seats for them. My brother asked me why such bands always seem to
have girl bass players, but the real surprise was that they had a very
good sound even though they were the support band. After a quick break,
Love took to the stage, at first without an orchestra. They did classics
like 'Little Red Book'. They were performing as excellently as when I
saw them last year at a festival in Canterbury. Arthur Lee seemed utterly
relaxed. He had a white tasselled cowboy shirt. A star spangled flag scarf
around his head, topped at first with a top hat, and later a cowboy hat.
Most of the time he wore wrap around sunglasses. The crowd was quite boisterous
and shouted things. "You don't know how long I've waited for this, Arthur,"
said one lady. "No, but you know how long I've waited" came his reply.
After a while 4 violinists, 1 cellist, 2 trumpet players and 1 trombonist
joined the band. They started with 'Alone Again Or' and the audience went
wild, particularly at the trumpet solo. It was powerful stuff, and reminded
me of a concert I saw in Edinburgh where the Bootleg Beatles performed
'Penny Lane' with a real trumpet solo. That was a spine tingler. I looked
across the audience and saw an amazing mixture of protest song-style arm
waving, occasional dreamy hippy dancing (from the odd person standing
at their seat), and - most spookily - a line of what looked like middle
aged people mouthing the lyrics faithfully. I must admit, I think Arthur's
lyrics rival Procol Harum in their earnest obtuse-ness, and whilst in
a totally different style they also have a very satisfying musical professionalism.
At the climax of the set I saw Art Rocker's own Delia attempt to give
the great man a very red looking present. He was a bit too far back on
the stage, and I don't know if he got it. After the orchestral numbers,
the band came back for 'band' encores. One included Graham from Blur,
who was rather superfluous. There was some difference of opinion about
whether Arthur's voice was better than ever or whether he was struggling.
He did seem to back off the mike a bit, but for me, the main thing was
how 'at ease' he seemed about the whole thing. In my mind I was intrigued
as to whether he was a crazy 60-years plus mastermind of the musical arrangements,
or was he a passenger of someone else's scheme ? The Japanese have been
re-forming new wave bands, providing musicians to emulate missing band
members. Was this something similar ? I was lucky enough to get into the
after gig drink, where I was advised that Arthur was the passenger offering
directions, while the rhythm guitarist/backing vocalist was the driving
force. I met them both and the guitarist, and they all seemed thoroughly
nice chaps having a good time.
Holiday idea : Star Trek Experience, Hyde Park
You've got till the end of March to visit the bridge of every major starship,
get regenerated in a Borg chamber, and have a drink in Quark's bar. What
are you waiting for ?
Web site tip : The Food Standards Agency http://www.food.gov.uk
The Food Standards Agency spend their time trying to get you some straight
advice about food, and here's where it's available for you in bite-size
chunks. For instance, find out what happens when you keep skipping breakfast.
More people get ill through worry about health and food than through food
poisoning, so check out this site and put your worries in perspective.
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER LP
Joke : Q. What do you call a vegetarian that doesn't know what they are
allowed to eat ? A. A vague-un
Web site tip : www.hotmail.com email
Far be it from me to promote Microsoft (or 'the evil empire' as they have
been known by some other people), but they bought this email via the web
idea because it is just plain useful. Free, rarely blocked by employers,
virus checking mail and attachments sent to you, and available while you're
on the move. Not enough space in the account, or want one for your band
or something else ? Just open another free one...
Holiday idea : The Wild Weekend 4
The team that brought '? and The Mysterians' to London, and had everyone
wading in mud in Camber Sands, take us back to the amazingly underrated
off season Benidorm, Spain for their fourth extravaganza. It's at the
wonderful Casino Mediterraneo on the 7th, 8th and 9th of November 2003.
If you want updates about what's happening, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or check out www.thewildweekend.com
Daytime idea : The Royal Festival Hall, South Bank (nearest tube Embankment)
Time to kill in central London ? At the Royal Festival Hall on the South
Bank there are comfy chairs, free magazines about what's going on, toilets,
and no one hassling you. Top place.
Club : Friday 28th February 2003, The Lunar Lounge LIVE @ Spitz, Old Spitalfields
Market 109 Commercial Street London E1 6BG. Tel:(020) 7392 9032. Liverpool
Street tube (Central, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan) 20.00pm-01.00am
Sci-fi lounge was never so much fun as when it was organised by Steve
XOH and his top team of astronauts and space girls. Live performances
from The Boogaloo Band (http://www.boogalooband.co.uk)
and Horizon 22 (http://www.horizon22.com)
plus DJs. More info and prize-winning competitions at http://www.lunarlounge.co.uk
Hero of the week : Bruce Brand
Bruce is one of the unsung heroes of the underground London music scene.
He relentlessly comes up with good ideas when otherwise the pressure is
on to call the whole thing off. He has been responsible for the coolest
artwork and sleeves you've seen, via his company Arthole, including being
able to magically recreate sixties styling in new contexts. Delightfully,
via his friends the White Stripes, he is actually getting some of the
profile he richly deserves. As well as doing artwork for them, he even
drove their van. Most amazingly he advised them against appearing on the
front page of some over-hyped non-music rag, and this added to their reputation
for not 'playing the media game'. He is a very widely traveled musician
having toured America, Japan and Europe with The Milkshakes, Thee Headcoats,
Holly Golightly and The Masonics for whom he drums (along with many other
bands, including Dutronc and the Adventures of Parsley, playing guitar
for myself). He sometimes DJ's from his large collection of obscure records.
The late Joe Meek heavily influences his taste. Photographer Nick Simpson
described him as the most photogenic man he knows, and has used him in
several amazing photographs. Bruce has even starred in 2 films - 'The
Perv Parlor', and 'Pervirella'. He's absolutely hilarious when he is drunk,
when, alongside crazy dancing, he starts picking fights by gently announcing
provocative things to whoever happens to be around and unsuspecting. In
Spain a man rushed up having recognised him : Bruce came out with some
appropriate abuse, and the guy went away saying how happy he was to have
been insulted by 'the great Bruce Brand'. Do yourself a favour and get
his artwork on your record by contacting him at BashBrand@aol.com.
Useless facts : (with thanks to email@example.com)
More people are killed annually by donkeys than die in air crashes.
The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny) was allergic to carrots
Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.
No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, and
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 62
Film review : So I Married An Axe Muderer
C5 screened this 1993 film on Saturday night. It's a Mike Myers comedy
that is an interesting step in Myers' film career chronology. There's
a whole range of similarities with the Austin Powers films: Myers plays
the lead character, and also his father, a rude Scot, or a 'thin bastard'
you might say. He occasionally performs to camera - his character writes
jazz poetry about his failed loves. He has the same sarcastic humour,
and turn of phrase. Suddenly, I'm wondering if Jim Carrey's films could
be themed in the same way. Oh, and Myers has a rather silly sort of 'pudding
bowl' haircut. He plays a guy who keeps finding paranoid reasons why not
to stay with his lovers. This time he's getting some heavy clues that
his latest girl (played by Nancy Travis) is a serial killer, but alternates
between believing and disbelieving. There are some interesting cameos
from Seinfeld's 'Kramer' and someone from Ally McBeal. Also, Alan Arkin,
who I remember for playing Inspector Clouseau hilariously, but alas not
remembered after Peter Sellers. Here he plays a nice police chief, who
tries to be feisty and hard-bitten to please an undercover policeman who
wants it to be more like on TV. The humour is gentle, and occasional,
rather than relentless. Overall Rating : thumbs up. A mildly diverting
Web site tip : http://www.tracert.com/
Want to find out how long it takes the world to see your website ? Set
yourself up with free monitoring at this site. You can choose to find
out how long it takes in every continent, and it'll even email you the
Club : The Sonic Reaction Club, Thursday 16th January 2003 9pm-2am
Down at the El Paso Basement, 350/354 Old Street, you can enjoy music
DJ-ed by the cream of the Toe Rag scene including Liam Watson, Andy Sier
and Bruce Brand. Don't forget to buy Bruce a birthday drink...!
Concert : The Dee Rangers at the Dirty Water Club, Friday 17th January
The Dee Rangers are over from Sweden to record at Toe Rag, and they are
going to squeeze in this concert whilst they are here. From what I've
heard they are high-energy pop garage, resembling the best of The Lyres.
I also have to declare an interest, as I should be guesting on keyboards.
Also appearing are fellow Stockholmers, The Caesars.
Concert : The Impact at the Ace Cafe, North Circular Road, Saturday 18th
You may remember me raving about The Impact's last performance. Well here's
your chance to catch these fantastic mod popsters in legendary rocker
venue the "Ace Cafe". Highly recommended.
TV Review : Enterprise
So the pre-Star Trek Enterprise is back, and mildly interesting, although
jumping way out-of-bounds of being a prequel. We're shooting around time
and seeing seriously weird aliens whose make up could only have been dreamt
of back in the sixties. Vulcan Sub-Commander T'Pau appears in skimpy pyjama-style
trousers and short T-shirts, like her seven-of-nine Voyager successor
(or televisual predecessor if you prefer). We're also stuck with the end-of-season
cliff hanger continuing over into this first episode of the 2nd season.
Reasonable sci-fi eye candy, and even if it wasn't, some of us can remember
how appalling some of the early 'Next Generation' shows were.
Book Review : Playing to the Gallery by Simon Hoggart Published by Guardian
Books £7.99 ISBN 1-903809-66-5
Back in 1981 I got Simon Hoggart's autograph in my diary. He looked down
and saw I had a note to do my washing. He said 'Your Wednesdays sound
the same as mine'. He's been charming and making me laugh ever since.
Save this book till you are ill, because it'll help your recovery be a
thoroughly enjoyable process, and give you plenty of laughs about the
soap opera known as Westminster politics.
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 61
Film review : Star Trek - Nemesis
Well, it has passed into Trek folklore that the 'even numbered' Star Trek
films are the best, and this is number 10. Unfortunately, it has not obeyed
that rule. Whilst reasonably enjoyable, and with one or two great moments,
this is basically a couple of moderate 'Next Gen' episodes woven together.
In the tradition of earlier Trek films, the cast are getting more involved
in the production side, with Brent Spiner co-writing. By an amazing coincidence
the plot has plenty of focus on his character Data, as the film begins
with finding bits of an android body giving off 'positronic' signals.
What is it with those wacky Romulans ? Whilst wanting to keep their distance
from the Federation, they are apparently happy to name their planets after
the Romulus and Remus of Roman folklore... Maybe I missed an episode where
that got explained. The attempt to use Star Trek to explore themes relevant
to its viewers is rather laboured. It turns out the Romulans have a clone
of Picard who confronts him. I'm afraid the clone was a pretty unlikely
Picard, not least because Patrick Stewart's thin lips were apparently
preceded by the massive lips of Tom Hardy. Even more disappointingly,
the ideas about cloning were not engaging, and the tiring discussion of
whether Picard was the product of his genes or his experience was tedious.
The potentially frightening plot developments (Romulans preparing to destroy
Earth via clever sneakiness) were amazingly rapidly diffused. Can the
Trek audience not take the pressure that Minority Report or Bourne Identity
audiences can ? ...And knock me down with a feather, but have the display
panels on the Enterprise begun to light up in an old fashioned sci-fi
way ? They seem to be looking more like the instrumentation in the 'Enterprise'
series that is supposed to preceed 'classic' Star Trek. Any silver linings
? There were some funny moments (although I confess the rest of my cinema's
audience didn't laugh), I did like the white outfits, and Jerry Goldsmith
did his usual excellent work on the music. Overall, whilst being a reasonable
sci-fi film, I'm afraid it was a sloppy successor to the Trek legacy.
There is a lot of emotional capital invested in the Next Gen characters
by those of us that have been watching for years. This film failed to
engage that, and almost irritated it, in the way that weaker episodes
in the series did. One can only hope that this is not the last outing
of the Next Gen characters (as we are being heavily teased that it is),
because if it is then it will be going out on a low note.
Overall Rating : thumbs up for Trek, but I would be very surprised if
this stayed anyone's favourite film of the year for long.
Concert Review : Mod all-dayer at the Pleasure Unit, Bethnal Green Road
Well Rob Bailey and the New Untouchables are to be congratulated on once
again pulling together an event that could not be ignored, and delivered
in spades. I have to say the biggest and most enjoyable surprise of the
day was the excellent band The Impact. First on at 5 they were immaculate
and delivered a sharp enjoyable set of R'n'B covers and their own excellent
originals. They give The Yardbirds a real run for their money, and if
you ever wanted to feel like you were in a film like 'Blow Up' then this
was your moment. I was having a slight problem with a couple of light
effect projectors on stage, that were a little low and occasionally blinding.
Neil's Children were next up, and they were loud and outrageous. I think
their new material is taking them into the Art Rocker fold. Time for a
quick break to get an excellent new jacket (well old, actually !) from
style guru Casper, who was plying his wares alongside Angie, who was kitting
out the ladies, under the titles Dandy in Aspic and Too Much! There were
records to peruse too, but nothing that grabbed me. Then something to
eat across the road, and back in time to catch my heroes, Pink Floyd covers
band Interstellar Overcoat. Great as ever, although there was a bit of
feedback sneaking into the mix somewhere. Finally, the Gene Drayton Unit,
who were performing so immaculately that for a second I thought the DJ
had put another record on ! These guys are sharp, and deliver amazing
live versions of great dance instrumentals, as well as their own great
songs. An excellent time was had by all in this friendly relaxed club.
Join the mailing list for details of similar events via firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site tip : German-English dictionary http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/
Lost for the word in German or got it in German but want it in English
? This surprisingly comprehensive website can help.
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT
FOR ARTROCKER 60
CD Review : My Favourite Things - Greatest Hits 1993-96
Well, I was on Cloud 9 when John O'Sullivan presented me with these collected
works on an unofficial CD-R release at my Adventures of Parsley gig last
Friday. As I mentioned when he was my hero of the week a while back, I
saw his band at the Monarch on a Super Elastic Bubble Plastic night, and
they made me want to play in a psychedelic band, because they were dreamy
and had great songs. Well, here are those songs :
1. Syd - Fantastic Barrett-esque pop song opener, with beautiful trippy
break, and 3-time bit.
2. Daydream Violence - Feels like you're flying with a flock of birds,
as the lyrics tell us you hop on a bus in Whitechapel, and somebody dies
whilst "the boy who swallowed a bicycle lived". This is a spine-tingly
delicious psyche-fest with fantastic multi-layered vocals.
3. She's A Ghost - rockier number with driving verse, and ethereal guitars
4. Spaceman - blast off to the childhood dreams of new worlds and beginnings,
full of hope rather than the "damage that we've done".
5. Fruit Machine - Bowie, Bolan and their ilk would relate to this simultaneous
high and low vocal driving pop song that takes you "higher than the fruit
6. Memphis - The boys start us on a rock trip to Memphis, which then explodes
into their multi-layer swirling guitars and vocals. They wanna go, and
after this you probably will too !
7. Halcyon Days - crazy touches of Dylan and major walking bass take our
shoes off in the rain. Hendrix drops in for the solo, and the boys sing
a chorus around him.
John led the whole fantastic sound-scape on vocals and tingly guitars,
wonderfully assisted by Simon O'Grady on measured bass and vocals and
Peter Burke on driving and lolloping drums and vocals. But if you think
it's another 3-piece then I haven't told you the whole story because there
are amazing washes of background noises and ringing sounds, which make
it truly dreamy. God I wish these guys were gigging again. If you want
to get a copy or write to John, he can be reached care of email@example.com.
Film review : Tomorrow Never Dies
Well yes, it is good that Bond is back, but there are some disappointing
tweaks along the way - although possibly not the ones we were expecting.
The one we were expecting : It should be the pinnacle of a performer's
career to be asked to write a song for Bond, NOT the pinnacle of Bond's
career to have a song written by Madonna ! The opening sequence had some
excellent visuals of women of flame and ice surrounding Bond in prison,
but Madonna's song that accompanied them is NOT a Bond song (and, as I
told you last week, Tim Rice agrees !). David Arnold's music was otherwise
a perfectly reasonable succession to John Barry's. A disappointment we
were not expecting : with the introduction of an invisible car, the Bond
film, believe it or not, strayed too far away from reality. Bond gadgets
had always been a fanciful but logical extension of the possible, but
this did not work. Other highlights : seeing Pearce Brosnan with straggly
hair, beard and moustache in hobo robes was delightful. MI6's dis-used
tube station secret office was also excellent.
Overall Rating : thumbs up. A reasonable successor to the Bond legacy,
but unlikely to be anyone's favourite Bond.
Film review : The Grinch
Saw this on video, but thought I'd tip you off before it premieres on
Sky (pah!) this Christmas. Jim Carrey is fantastic as the strange green
Dr. Seuss character that hates Christmas after being stitched up by his
schoolmates. The irony is that he's right, because he is fed up with the
commercialism. I couldn't hear everything he said but laughed every time
I did. There were also some great hidden comedy moments like when he wins
the sack race to the tune of 'Chariots of Fire'. Some temperaments will
want to wind the video or leave the room for the schmaltzy little girl
singing moment, and similar others, but those of us for whom Willy Wonka
is a classic will lap it up (though it is not as good as that…). Hank
from Larry Sanders plays the rotten mayor, and I recognise the boy who
plays the young Grinch, but can't remember where from. Overall Rating
: thumbs up. Sentimental Christmas film successfully creates a wacky allegorical
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 59
: The All American Solid Gold Rock'n'Roll Show 2002, London Palladium
Sunday 8th December 2002
Well, you can be in the middle of a mundane, even depressing, life, when
something so gob-smacking happens that you can have it all eclipsed. And
lo, it came to pass, that on my first visit to the London Palladium, I
was sitting with my mate Bruce in just about the best seats in the house
- Royal Circle, middle of front row (A22/23), courtesy of amazing rocker
Raven. Remember that these are the seats for which John Lennon invited
the audience to 'rattle their jewelry'. Popping out for a tub of Ben and
Jerry's ice cream - am I dreaming ? - we bump into Bruce Welch of The
Shadows coming in. We are truly in the right place ! We get back for the
start of the show. The Vees, the rock 'n' roll band comprising mainly
Bobby Vee family members, hit the stage, with double bass dancing antics.
Then all round nice guy and youngest looking rocker I know, Chris Montez,
hits the stage and plays a blinder. The backdrop shows heroes of rock'n'roll
including the King, but Chris tells us that down his way, the King of
rock'n'roll was not Elvis, but Richie Valens, and he performs 'La Bamba'
as a tribute. Like the lyrics of his song 'Let's Dance' (NOT the Bowie
one !) he does indeed 'take a chance', and leap from the stage to dance
with the audience. Most of the them are 'senior', and it makes an interesting
change for me to be one of the younger people at a gig ! Next up are the
Chiffons, who were last in the UK touring with Jimi Hendrix… These sassy
women do the business with 'He's So Fine' and 'One Fine Day' amongst others.
Brian Hyland brings his drumming son and percussionist wife on for a more
rocking set, including 'I Hear You Knocking', although he still gets round
to the amazing 'Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny' and smooch-fest 'Sealed With A
Kiss'. A short break and then the Big Bopper Junior, born just a month
after his Dad died in a plane crash with Buddy Holly, reminds us of his
Dad's amazing songs. Then Bobby Vee comes out bouncing rubber balls into
the audience. I can't help feeling they were for us to play with, but
instead of bouncing them the recipients cling onto them as memorabilia
from the night. Bobby explains that when he recorded an album of classic
rock'n'roll in the early sixties, the record company didn't want to put
it out, saying that no one was interested in old songs. Forty years later
he's playing them to a packed house - retro that, Art Rockers ! It's also
a bit spine-tingly to hear that Bobby performed his classic 'Take Good
Care Of My Baby' to his son-in-law, at his daughter's wedding reception.
Everyone comes back out for group encores ending with 'That'll Be The
Day'. But it doesn't end there, because Raven has got us into the after
gig party, along with Andy - the man behind our recent 12 Bar Club fun.
I enjoyed a nice chat with Bruce Welch, about working with Cliff and Jet,
and found Tim Rice agrees with me about the Madonna song not being a proper
Bond one. Chris Montez is a top man, and wants to hang out with us next
time he's in London - we may even get him down to check out Toe Rag !
The Chiffons totally floored me by telling me they were happy not to 'kick
my ass'. It emerged that they had been in the small elite at the Raven
gig I played at the 12 Bar, where I had paraphrased one of Raven's lyrics
and thanked the audience for not 'kicking our asses'. Life is amazing,
I thought, as I ran like a maniac to catch the last train home...
45 Review : Hip Joint - Stoned Soul Picnic
The guys gave me a copy of their single as we (SolarFlares) waited in
Madrid Airport on our way to play at The Purple Weekend. A : Hip Joint
is a Hammond groove fest, that fellow label mates jtq, or indeed the fabulous
GDU, would be proud of. B : A Little Leveller is a likewise delicious
faster groove with stampeding drum back beat. The guys are from Nottingham,
and said they are lazy, which I couldn't quite get my head round as, like
us, they were on the longest journey to a gig you could imagine. The single
comes in a chunky card sleeve, and you can learn more by mailing the label
at firstname.lastname@example.org. The band have some info hosted at http://hammondbeat.com/hammondbeat/
which has details of many similar minded combos including The Men From
SPECTRE, The Link Quartet, The Nick Rossi Set and The Special Agents.
Don't know who does what, as we had to leave the festival before we could
see them, but they are really nice guys, EXCEPT for one of them that gave
me a fake pat on the back that was really a thump. He hit me 3 times,
including when I was trying to move gear…not so cool.
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT
FOR ARTROCKER 58
Concert review : The Charles Napiers at the Surf Shack Club, Thursday
28th November 2002
There are very few clubs in London where the decor has been created with
panache and attitude. The South London Pacific is one of them, as the
whole place has tiki decoration right down to the toilets. Even better,
there is a bar football table (whose players are suitably decorated with
grass skirts etc.). Challenging the band to a game, I was pleasantly surprised
to find my recent practicing was paying off, even on a table with as adverse
a camber as this. The Napiers first set was chock full of classics including
Beat Girl and Secret Agent Man. Despite various amp problems (one guitar
amp dead on arrival, bass amp playing up for the first half set), the
sound was excellent. There is a petite stage, which I think I would have
liked to have seen the whole band make a serious effort to squeeze onto.
Instead Sophie on drums sat up high with the amplifiers while the guys
lurched on the floor besides the stage. John on bass was attacking with
his bass jab, once the amp settled down. Lee was cool and relaxed while
his rythmn guitar parts charged the live set into fast action. After leading
this storming start, during the break before the second set, guitarist
Dan hit the DJ decks with some excellent instrumental disks. Also the
Surfers against Sewage campaign, who the concert was a benefit for, sold
very cheap raffle tickets for some excellent prizes. Excitement mounted
as I realised that even I had almost a 20 to 1 chance of winning. Alas
it was not to be, although the second roaring set from the Napiers was
a fair consolation prize. I missed the backing tapes of film clips that
normally accompany the set, but the finest comedians from the PRS tried
to keep the comedy factor high with their drunken interjections between
songs. All too soon it was over, and one was left wondering what the Germans
will make of them when they tour there later this month. Hope the venues
they get to play in are as good as this.
Web site tip : www.thebananasplits.com
Came across this when looking for a sample of the theme tune for a new
Adventures of Parsley TV theme. It's the official web site for the TV
show that wrapped cartoons in men in animal outfit tomfoolery. It tells
you who the guys in the costumes were, who did the voices, and it's jam
packed full of information and visuals from the show. Amazing...tra la
Concert : Felix Moment Power Trio at Fusilier & Firkin, 7-8, Chalk Farm
Road London NW1 Friday 6th December, and the guys are at one of their
regular haunts supported by Honey And The Hucksters. It's 8.30pm till
midnight and £4 to get in. Come and let the guys rock your socks off.
I'm away with the SolarFlares, but if I wasn't I would be at this, so
feel free to deputise for me...
Concert review : Ray Dorset (a.k.a. Mungo Jerry), 12 Bar Club, Tuesday
26th Nov 2002
Met up with my mates the Paisleys and had a smashing meal at this place,
at a very reasonable price. They even served it to us upstairs whilst
we watched the support band. My mate Bruce, being a Mungo Jerry man himself,
had brought a wedge of albums to get signed. Ray Dorset started with 'Gambling
Man' as a tribute to Lonnie Donnegan, and followed it up with 'Bottle
Up and Go', an old blues song that I used to do with Billy Childish and
the Blackhands. The surprises didn't stop there. The Paisleys had floored
Bruce by revealing that Mr. Dorset had written a disco hit called 'It
Feels Like I'm In Love' with synthi-drums and allsorts. He then proceeded
to perform a skiffle/rock and roll version of it in the style he envisaged
when he wrote it ... for Elvis ! Bruce told me he was doing all the classics
(Baby Jump, In The Summertime, Lady Rose, Mighty Man, Woody Guthrie's
'Dust pneuomonia blues', and he encored with Maggie), but I was especially
interested in 'Alright, Alright, Alright', which was my Nan's favourite,
and we do it with Dutronc (that band that Art Rocker fear !). He mentioned
how 'In The Summertime's recent re-emergence in films has done him no
harm. The bassist and drummer hadn't rehearsed with him at all, but there
was plenty of energy. He was massively ready for encores, and Bruce and
I noisily kicked the stage to make sure he did. Afterwards we had a good
old chat with the man himself, and he said he was up for a guest appearance
at one of our gigs next year. What a smashing fella in a smashing club
! We obviously hogged him a bit too much as he ended up signing someone
else's rare album 'To Bruce'. We even introduced him to Raven who told
him about American touring. After playing to 12 people with Raven I was
interested to see Mr. Dorset playing to about 20 odd, and there was no
problem - in fact it was a really nice atmosphere.
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT
FOR ARTROCKER 57
Hero of the week : Raven
Well, I reviewed his CD a couple of weeks ago, and I played a gig with
him the week after. It was crazy fun. Raven lives in the US of A, but
dreams of being able to live forever in his dream country - 'Britain'.
He wrote a eulogy to it, which he performed with 60's legend Chris Montez
when I played with him. We also performed a medley of some of his favourite
musical influences...Pulp 'Disco2000', Cliff Richard 'Move It' and The
Jam 'A Town Called Malice'. Yes, reality you could not make up. Being
on tour with Bobby Vee, he gets to find out stuff: At a Bournemouth concert,
Bobby Vee sold £1500 of merchandising. At the same venue Cliff sold £68
000. At our gig in London, Raven sold about £30, but for big-hearted rock'n'roll
'going for it' he won hands down.
CD Review : Sonic
Torpedoes 'Crooked Hill' CD EP
Picked this up from main man Ed Deegan when I was in at his Gizzard studios,
re-mixing a Dutronc track. It follows their 'Hazy' 3-track CD from last
1. Crooked Hill - A driving buzzy chunky guitar fest with a high-harmonied
rocking chorus and a whaling guitar solo.
2. Mainline Static - nice Hawkwind-style space noise kick off, confidential
verse delivery over sci-fi riff leads to disturbed grunge moment then
melodic bass prog rock hypnosis.
3. Dopplegänger Man - 21st century rock and roller with crazy fuzzy vocal
moment. Reminds me a bit of Sean Tyla's 'Styrofoam' from an old live Hope
& Anchor album I've got.
Yes, this is not the traditional retro pop-fest that normally adorns my
world, but rather the now sound of rock, with occasional brief sideways
salutes to prog and heavy 70's. The guys are apparently sponsored by Vortex
Books, although from their pictures you could imagine that a sport shop
selling all weather hooded jackets might also be interested… All round
great guy (and Dr. Who fan) Gib (a.k.a. Ed, Gibbon) Deegan plays lead
guitar, sings and co-writes with Napoleon Catila from Manila, who plays
bass and sings. Duncan Lovatt hits a rhythm guitar and makes the wacky
synthy keyboard noises, whilst Keith Buck stonks the drums. It's a well-executed,
masterful foray into their domain. Excellently, they got 'single of the
week' billing in The Independent of all places. For more info write to
email@example.com or check out their wild website at http://www.sonictorpedoes.com
which includes free MP3 downloads.
TV Review : Daniel Deronda Part 1 Saturday 23rd Nov 8.55-10.25pm BBC1
Yes, I know you love it when I review something that's a bit 'off the
beaten track' for me, so here goes. Is it me, or is costume drama now
formulaic ? And is the BBC's approach even more so ? For the costume drama
we have to have a tragic female lead, missing out on the perfect good
guy so as to marry the wicked one. For the BBC we need strong female roles,
and if we can make reference to ethnic minorities (Judaism) or contemporary
issues (hunting) then so much the better. I'm afraid I am not going to
read the original work to find out how much of this experience is being
bio-engineered by the production, but my bit of viewer demographic would
happily have had them put the same effort into a murder mystery. As ever,
my eye was distracted by the presence of greatness, in this case the magnificent
Jacqueline Pearce a.k.a. Servalan from Blake's 7, looking and sounding
wonderful, and woefully under-used in a supporting role. Checking out
the web site for the show, my heart sank when I found that the writer,
Andrew Davies, is indeed the same scribe who has done Pride and Prejudice,
Tipping The Velvet (self-proclaimed 'lesbian love story'), ITV's Doctor
Zhivago, and even co-adapted Bridget Jones Diary. Can nothing save us
from the machine that masquerades as high-brow culture ? It's interesting
enough, and having invested an hour and a half in the first part I do
have some 'inertia' willing me on to catch the rest, but my often criticised
Cult sixties TV looks more worthy all the time.
Overall Rating : thumbs down. It's a formula too close to reality TV and
soap opera for me now, I'm afraid.
Concert : The Charles Napiers at the Surf Shack club, Thursday 28th Nov
at about 8 o'clock
The UK's longest running instrumental 'Mondo Wray' combo will be donning
loud Hawaiians, setting the reverb controls to stun and 'hanging ten'
down to South London Pacific, 340, Kennington Rd, London SE11 4LD, Tel:
020 7820 9189, http://www.southlondonpacific.com/ It's apparently a charity
bash for 'Surfers Against Sewage'
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 56
TV Review : Sean
Lock's '15 Storeys High'
This is only on BBC Choice at the moment, which means you should stand
by for it hitting regular TV presently. I was lucky enough to catch it
at my friend Tony Reeve's (http://freespace.virgin.net/reevietone.news/).
When Adventures of Parsley were the house band at the Comedy Store, Sean
Lock really stood out as a comedian that could make you find a genuinely
new surprising laugh (i.e. without the standards of obscenity jokes).
For a while he had a chirpy Radio 4 show about crazily funny things happening
to ordinary people living in tower blocks. That show had a studio audience,
and the action was punctuated by a happy tune from time to time. This
show is the reinvention of that for TV, and it's altogether darker with
no audience laughing, and no incidental music. Sean plays a swimming instructor,
combining disarming honesty and a singular lack of reality. This episode
saw Sean's mate Errol obsessively redecorating the bathroom, and being
majorly phased by being told to match the colour scheme with the background
of a photo from a readers' wives magazine. A sub plot involved a neighbour
who is being encouraged by a friend to hit himself against the wall in
a bid to get his girlfriend back. This is humour that walks a fine line
between hilarity and insanity, and so is right up my street. It's Phoenix
Nights meets The League of Gentlemen against an inner city background.
Well worth a watch, as is Sean Lock's stand up routine. I wonder if he
needs a house band... [The other 'stand up that stands out' for me is
Mark Steel, although instead of everyday life's insanity, he finds a refreshing
straight up absurdity in politics, history, and occasionally sport]
Hero of the week : Rod Lynton
A little overdue, because Rod was a star for me personally a couple of
weeks ago, but... Rod is the guitarist of sixties popsters 'Rupert's People'
(you may remember me mentioning the bass player Ray back in Art Rocker
46). He's a motorbike riding lead man who doesn't take prisoners. He has
an amazing history that put him on John Lennon's 'Imagine' album and promoting
various high profile rock bands (including being at Atlantic Records,
where he promoted Led Zeppelin). Whilst I've been in the band he arranged
for me to get a pucker 60's coiffure, and put himself out to make sure
I was okay on our recent trip to Italy (he gave the hotel a roasting,
successfully, when I was being frozen in my heat-less room). He's also
been coaching me on technique, and really made me feel part of the band.
He is a strong character, fiercely loyal, good fun in the clubs, and with
a cool view that every generation can enjoy the vibes of good music. More
about the Rupert's Peoples' album at http://www.circlerecords.co.uk/
CD Review : The Paisley Wheelchair Experience - "Songs for Swinging Simians"
My good showbiz friends the Paisleys (10-piece Vegas-glitz insanity) have
this CD EP out on Lunar Lounge records.
1. She Bangs - This Ricky Martin track gets the full cheesotronic Paisley
2. Love Is In The Air - bop to the disco beat of this romantic number
from the film "Strictly Ballroom".
3. Deeply Dippy - The Right Said Fred song re-discovered as a romantic
duet between frontman Lord Freddie Valentine and, sporting a hot silver
one-piece outfit, diva Amber. X.
As a secret bonus, Lord Freddie reads from his celebrity memoirs. With
his politically incorrect banter, and his machine-gun comic delivery,
Lord Freddie is a treat for the surreal or anyone who just wants to stir
it at parties. Resplendent in affro hair, walrus moustache, purple sequined
top and massive medallion, it is difficult not to stare. Backing him are
the fabulous Lady Kitty on guitar, and Lady Fee on bass, and Amber on
backing vocals. On keyboards Wolfgangster is absolutely masterful in creating
the perfect musical soundscapes for the band's varied material. Beavis
Viagra is a stonking powerhouse of a drummer. The brass section (including
great guy Thumper Torrens on trombone, and AxeSaxKev on saxophone) and
percussionist add to the visual and musical spectacle. The band has to
be seen to be believed. Catch them at Spitz on December 13th. The CD is
a must for every sequined Christmas stocking. For more details mail either
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The Paisleys also have
an excellent new web site at http://www.paisleywheelchairexperience.com.
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 55
CD Review : Raven 'Boom'
I met Raven at a SolarFlares gig. He was checking us out in a break from
touring. He is PA to Bobby Vee (remember 'Rubber Ball', with those legendary
girl backing vocals - 'bouncy bouncy' ?), and tours with him fairly regularly.
They play an amazing selection of venues, culminating this time in the
London Palladium on December 8th. Raven is a chunky rocker, with a disarming
enthusiasm for all things rock'n'roll, and thick black hair as his name
suggests. This is his 2nd CD, and he has extended his range from his first,
very rock'n'roll one.
1. Brilliance - There is an uncredited bit of intro music before this
low key eulogy to love
2. Something's not right - country rock blast of love suspicion
3. Conviction of love - nightclub sax and girl backing vocals accompany
Raven to his cell
4. Status Quo - slower sad falling out of love ballad
5. I wish love (would stop wasting my time) - punky rocking 'bout the
fickle finger of love
6. Something clever - haunting ballad of those moments when you can't
think of something clever to say
7. (I'm Your) Yankee fan - electric piano solo and occasional harmonica
over ballad of lost love
8. Afterthought - Uptempo rocking, with twangy guitar solo and wall of
backing vocals, becoming Bangles-like for the end
9. Blue - Brushes on snare for this gentler phase
10. Someone she knows - A piano concerto of a ballad
11. Life's not fair - Honky tonk shuffle, almost a male version of 'telephone
12. Better for knowing you - nice organ, backs a relaxed Dylan-esque tune
13. Almost glow - Rotating poppy number
So now you'll have to tell me I'm not dreaming, and accept my apologies
for this blatant plug, but Raven has a headlining gig at the 12 Bar Club,
with a band (coming together especially for this concert), comprising
drummer Bruce Brand, bassist Matthew Karas, guitarist Graham Day, and
myself on keyboards. A surreal line-up that can only lead to a crazy night
to remember. It's next Tuesday (19th November), and the 12 Bar Club is
at 22-23, Denmark Place, London WC2H 8NL. UK (nearest tube Tottenham Court
Road). Club Contact: (+44) (0) 20 7916 6989. Web site : http://www.12barclub.com/noflashindex.htm
Web site tip : http://www.consignia-online.com/index.jhtml?postcodeConsigniaPage=postcodeResults&_requestid=9605
Trainspotters rejoice : Ever not had a postcode, or had a postcode and
not an address ? Get the missing items from the guys that run the system.
Newspaper cutting : (with thanks to kingbeard)
After being charged £20 for a £10 overdraft, 30 year old Michael Howard
of Leeds changed his name by deed poll to Yorkshire Bank PLC Are Fascist
Bastards. The bank has now asked him to close his account, and Mr. Bastards
has asked them to repay the 69p balance, by cheque, made out in his new
Concert : The Aardvarks, Needles Bar, Saturday 9th November 2002
Well it's been the longest wait yet, but at last The Aardvarks were playing
in front of our very eyes, in a cosy psychedelic venue, with Rob Bailey
DJ-ing masterfully. The guys were all on top form. Ian on drums conspicuously
fumbling, but couldn't really hide himself doing the business. Jason on
bass in an amazing wig, stonkingly reliable. Mark on lead guitar (and
backing vocals) still convinces me that the guitar is part of him, with
his totally relaxed control of it. Gary on vocals and occasional acoustic
guitar is the perfect pop front man, grinning and joking and singing to
perfection. The set held few surprises with them immaculately recreating
songs from the likes of Tomorrow and Rupert's People, as well as resurrecting
their own mostly undiscovered pop classics ("office Number 1", "Arthur
C. Clarke"), but it had been so long that no one was going to complain...and
they finished with their magnificent version of "Sorry". Thanks for being
great guys. Don't leave it so long next time, eh ?
Film review : The Dish
This film I meant to see in the cinema made it to the Sky Movie Premier
this week. What a stonker, and God I love aussies. Here they are with
their own piece of visionary heroism, as the Southern hemisphere helps
us all see the first man on the moon. Gerry Anderson fans like myself
may spot voice artist stalwart and SHADO man Charles Tingwell playing
the local vicar. I remember watching moon landings at school - an amazing
life changing global community experience, that this film puts the innocent
love and fun back into.
Overall Rating : thumbs emphatically up as this 'feel good' movie hits
the spot for space fans. (apologies for absence last week...best laid
plans of mice and men and all that)
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CD Review : G*G*Action
'I Wanna Be A 7" single
Penny of the G*G*Action was kind enough to send me my personal copy of
this wild CD
1. Highway To Hell : Watch out boys, they're coming through. This singalonga
girl chaos anthem kicks off the shock-fest. Motorbike revs whisk the track
away at the end.
2. Dirty Girl : Well it's the 21st Century, so I guess it's time to tell
it to you straight. If she's got the guts to tell you she's a dirty sex-loving
girl bomb in a raucous rock romp, then so be it.
3. I just wanna get down : Girls with attitude driving pop song with spacey
organ sound and nice Headcoatee-like multi vocals.
4. I'm gonna get you out of my hair : I suggest you start running now
boy, 'cos she's 'gonna kick your skinny white arse' for being crap, as
she let's us know in this punky garage thrash.
This Sheffield band are 5 girls : Steph and Penny from Velodrome 2000,
and Helen, Katherine and Ruth (3 other hot rock chicks). The CD comes
in a leopard pattern stocking sleeve. Vocals are clear, mischievous and
reminiscent of Blondie's 'Rip her to shreds'. Tribal drum with slap of
a snare sound backs cheesy organ and wall of fuzz guitar and bass. The
vibe reminds me of The Slits, but whereas they veered towards the reggae,
these guys are sticking with the girls in the garage sound. You can contact
them via Penny on 0114 2228571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quick venue guide : Italy
I was out with The SolarFlares for 3 dates in Italy, where October is
more pleasant than an English summer. Here's a guide to the places we
played. Key: D - Dancing afterwards, S - Shower at venue, H - Hotel accommodation
(otherwise it was at someone's house), R - Restaurant meal / T - Take
away at venue (otherwise was in house catering)
Perche'no, Verbania Pallanza - H [intimate basement club, 'cavern' ceiling
and ante-rooms] Magic Bus, Marcon (Venice) - D S H R [industrial estate,
big pop art/Austin Powers decor] Agriturismo Ca'Verde, S. Ambrogio Valpolicella
(Verona) - D, S, H [marquee of country hotel]
Heroes of the week : John (My Favourite Things) and Julia Everett
Didn't mention last week that after the Soft Boys I bumped into John,
the main man of the now split 'My Favourite Things' and his girlfriend
Julia. I saw his band at the Monarch on a Super Elastic Bubble Plastic
night, and they made me want to play in a psychedelic band, because they
were dreamy and had great songs. Well, add to that John is an excellent
guy. I mentioned my friend Nick Simpson's plan for remaking the Abbey
Road photo to him. Instead of the reluctant conscripts I'd tried to get
involved, he was genuinely up for it, and coming up with wild thoughts
of his own - we had a lot of 'common ground' on location shoots for The
Sweeney. Suddenly a veil lifted : it is actually possible (and cool) to
be enthusiastic about things. Very refreshing.
Nightlife idea : Art - West End play now featuring the League of Gentlemen
Spotted that the constantly changing performer line up for this West End
play has suddenly settled on the 3 guys that perform as the League of
Gentlemen. Guess it's finally time to go see it. It's on at the Whitehall
Theatre, Trafalgar Square, London WC2 till Jan 4th. More info. at http://www.art-theatre.net/
Concert tip : Felix Moment Power Trio & Neil's Children at Fusilier &
Firkin Friday 01/11/02
I'll be off in Italy again, but if I was in London I'd be crazy to miss
2 giants of the London music scene playing at the Fusilier & Firkin, opposite
Camden Lock at 7-8 Chalk Farm Rd NW1. It's a 'Last Rockers' club night.
FMPT have got some great new songs which I believe they have been recording,
and I've had a sneak preview of their recent photo session. It features
late night shots of what looks like the guys turning up at your house
and asking to be let in. Delighted to hear that they supported the Pretty
Things at the 100 Club last week, and gutted that I couldn't be there.
Meanwhile John, Brandon and James, of Neil's Children, are planning to
riot their way through new songs only, so I will be jealous of you hearing
them before me.
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Concert Review : The Realistics and The Sheila Divine, Dublin Castle,
The Realistics went at an amazing pace despite illness. If not, I guess
they'd have been an invisible blur. Yes, they are still bloody marvellous.
They also tickled my fascination circuits with info. on their 2001 album.
Apparently they had so many extra instruments that the sound couldn't
be recreated live. Hence their newer CD which is much more live. Jeez
and they were only charging a fiver for the aforementioned jaw-droppingly
good 7-track CD (reviewed here previously) and T-shirts. If you've seen
the Ready Steady Go bit in the original Bedazzled film, then The Realistics
were Dudley Moore, and The Sheila Divine were Peter Cook. The Realistics
blew your pants off, and then The Sheila Divine held up a mirror and showed
you what you looked like with no pants on. Towards the end of the set
a guy who had 'just flown in' turned up with copies of their CD, and I
got one. Glad I did - see review later. The rest of the Dublin Castle
had sodded off to the tube. Watching the Sheila Divine was a bit like
watching a band that were massive in America (but you'd never seen them
before) on the David Letterman show. If you focused in they were performing
excellent monumental powerful songs (echoes of Bunnymen and early 80's
U2). If you moved your gaze slightly to the sides, it was the tiny Dublin
Castle. You could have found Letterman in the wings following up with
"that's the Sheila Divine, ladies and gentlemen. Join us tomorrow for
Gwneth Paltrow and Tom Cruise."
Concert Review : The Soft Boys at the Mean Fiddler, Charing Cross Road
Robyn Hitchcock (front man of the Soft Boys) and I have something in common.
Members of R.E.M have appreciated us both. But while Mike Mills appreciation
of my band Dutronc has not stopped Art Rocker from cancelling our gig
next year, the now world renown Soft Boys headline the Mean Fiddler (previously
the LA2 /Astoria). I was waiting for my brother, with whom I enjoyed many
Hope And Anchor Soft Boys gigs 20 years ago. I couldn't help wondering
if Mean Fiddler's grip on London's music included touts, and whether cries
of 'buy' and 'sell' were practise for City dealing rooms. Inside the Orleans
played a worthy if 'invisible' support set. The singer deconstructed,
explaining that their other London gig had refused to let them promote
this appearance. Then it was the Soft Boys turn. On bass Matthew Seligman
looked miserable (cracking a grin at a cry of 'Smile Matthew !'). This
was he who chased me down Warren Street tube in 1980 because he saw I
was wearing a jacket with 'Syd's Pink Floyd' painted on it. Kimberley
Rew on guitar had not changed one jot, except that someone seemed to have
died his hair grey. Morris Windsor on drums was magnificent at driving
beat and offbeat and wacky on a small but very full sounding drum kit.
He also provided startlingly good backing vocals. Robyn Hitchcock was
as freaky and occasionally acid as ever I remembered him, with sharp comments
for George Bush, and a delicious joke about the Soft Boys making Syd Barrett's
name, before the band performed Syd's 'Vegetable Man'. He even remained
composed as a lunatic girl insisted on shouting 'We Love You' between
what seemed like every song. Maybe when she finds truer love she will
be able to listen too. The set was an excellent balance, which satisfied
the need for nostalgia and established that they are still creating good
new stuff. They did an encore of Stones parody 'Rock and Roll toilet',
although without swapping instruments as they 'did in my day'. Overall
it was strangely mellow and professional, coming from the band that taught
me wacky lyrics and crazy timing changes were fun. The Soft Boys come
from the seventies world where parents would encourage childish flights
of fancy. Ironic that their heyday was in punk and post-punk times. Good
to have them back.
CD Review : The Sheila Divine - Secret Society
1. The Swan - moving hypnotic opening anthem (and my fave track).
2. We All Have Problems - In my comedy world, the second line of this
chorus would be 'so put it back in your trousers', but in these guys'
hands the lyrics are played straight.
3. Dramatica - less is more as the lyric snippets ("what seemed so unfair,
that the moment changed you") move the sensitive as they float on an orchestra
of guitars (2nd fave).
4. Back to the cradle - nursery rhymes will never be the same, screamed
this song's chorus.
5. Calling all lovers - a ballad, with waves of backing vocals and driving
6. Black River - Tribal verse leads into industrial strength melodic harmony
Sleeve is cool and modern. Aaron Perrino provides the lyrics, leads the
vocals and plays guitar. He is ably supported by Colin Decker (more guitar
and backing vox), whose effects box turned his guitar into a piano, and
who lunges enjoyably live. Man mountain Jim Gilbert on bass, and Ryan
Nolan on drums provide the powerhouse backing. Great that at last I can
have something nice from Boston to think about to counter the God-awful
night I was held hostage in a hotel that ripped me off because of an international
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 51
Merchandising : How to get merchandising for your band - PART 1
I am going to create some merchandising for my band the Adventures of
Parsley before we go off on tour, so I've been mailing around to try and
get the best deals. I will publish the best in this column. If you recommend
anyone in particular for glossy CD sleeves, postcards, posters, T-shirts,
or badges, please let me know at parsley.L@virgin.net. However, part 1
is to get your artwork sorted, and the best show in town is Bruce Brand's
company Arthole, who do all my artwork (contact via BashBrand@aol.com).
The best photographer, who I always use, is Nick Simpson (contact via
07956 968395), but I warn you now that he does not do 'ordinary' !
CD Review : Men In The Moon
Got this handed to me by the thoroughly nice bass player when the SolarFlares
1. Paradise - Light alternate twangy guitar / ultra fuzz led summer romp.
In the middle it gives way to psychedelic stylophone solo. and I think
I can hear a little Mannfred Mann pastische moment which does it for me.
2. Meteorite beat - This would be at home on Nuggets, as we get seriously
3. I need somebody else (to love) - Spacey stylophone-led beginning leads
into jarring pop romp, with moments of reverb-chamber psychedelia.
4. Buddha - Slower smooch-fest with Peter Perrett vocal verse and some
falsetto, gives way to an uptempo bit creating an overall experience reminiscent
of the Doors 'Unknown Soldier'. Excellent 'Fontana' sleeve styling with
a nice endorsement box for Stylophone. Little Olive enchants us with lead
vocal and stylophone, backed by Gérald's masterful Mustang Wha-fuzz guitar,
Trish's solid Hofner (violin) bass and Vincent's psychedelic drum kit.
Olive sings in English, curses to ethnocentricity. All songs are by Gérald
Lauverjon and Olivier Jourdan except Paradise, which is by Christian Guinet
and Olivier Jourdan. Can't quite make out the discography inside, but
it looks like I have EP 3 of 3 that together form their album. You can
write to the Men In The Moon fan club at 52 bis bd St Jacques 75014 Paris,
France, or email them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Club : Friday 18th October 2002 Lunar Lounge Upstairs @ The Embassy Bar
The Lunar Lounge DJ's return to this popular venue with their special
blend of Hammond funk, trip-tease, Japanese Club Pop and more! Admission
FREE. The Embassy Bar is at 119 Essex Road Islington London N1 2SN Tel:
(020) 7226 9849 Angel tube station (Northern line) or Highbury & Islington
Cool place to go : Bond‚ James Bond at the Science Museum
As you may have seen on posters on the tube, Bond‚ James Bond explores
the science and art of the Bond films through the 'greatest collection
of original 007 objects‚ images‚ concept drawings‚ storyboards and costume
designs ever assembled'. The exhibition starts on 16 October and runs
until 27 April 2003. More info at http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/exhibitions/bond/
Ideas for presents : At the shops this week I couldn't help feeling that
we were being warmed up for Christmas as materialism's finest items lined
up to tempt me in the West End of London. Forbidden Planet was loaded
with new Austin Powers and BIG James Bond books, as well as a phaser and
communicator from the new 'Enterprise' TV show. Even more tempting are
the talking Cyberman and remote control Dalek toys that are being promoted
on the back of talking Dalek toy packaging. Over in Virgin Megastore a
DVD featuring every video and TV appearance of the Jam, sat alongside
presentation packaged James Bond Dr No dolls, and a Prisoner 35th anniversary
companion DVD, that includes interviews and the 'alternate' version of
the first episode. The most tingling news for cult TV fans like myself
is that it appears that Carlton are going to group the DVDs of many series
into box sets, instead of releasing them in one at a time dribbles. In
HMV were complete DVD box sets of The Persuaders and Randall & Hopkirk
(Deceased). Meanwhile, if TV tie-ins aren't your thing, I can recommend
the shop 'Space' in Exmouth Market EC1, which has a number of cool present
ideas. The Che Guevara pack of tissues particularly caught my eye. They
also had several cool presents that I had received in the past, including
my spaceman eggcup. parsley.L@virgin.net
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Tour special - I was on the road with The SolarFlares this week so here
are a few things I learned or remembered (sorry if these are obvious for
the seasoned travellers):
Essential items : Road map / directions for venues ; Items to entertain
yourself during the long journeys e.g. walkman with tapes of comedy and/or
music, comics, books, mobile phones (especially for SMS / contacting venues
in case of delays or need for directions), handheld/Palm computers ; Sleeping
bags / cushions to make sitting in the van comfortable ; International
power converter / long extension 4 way adapter(s) ; Paper and marker for
set lists - some lists get taken by collectors ; Onstage light if you
refer to notes as I do (otherwise gig lighting can render these invisible).
Merchandising : This can make the difference between losing and making
money. In Paris we made more selling records than we did on the gig. Be
careful about your prices. In France people thought 20€ was cheap for
an album, whilst in Germany even 15 was regarded as expensive. In France
we sold a lot of vinyl. One guy bought my entire back catalogue. In Germany
we sold more T shirts. In Munich our concert was part of a mod weekend,
and there were more 'collectors' who bought a range of items. Keep prices
simple so you don't need to fiddle with lots of change. Make sure at least
1 or 2 band members look after the merchandising. It usually falls to
the same people, and is a bit of a chore, but it can earn a lot, and kick
off conversations with the locals. We used a wallpaper pasting table with
record sleeves/T-shirts pinned to it as our 'display'.
Money : Make sure the income (gig money and record sales) outweighs the
major costs (in our case van inc. insurance and emergency European cover,
ferry, petrol, cost of records, toll roads, and hotel if you have to stop
on the way, driver if you don't drive yourself). It's obviously cheaper
if the venues are closer together and if you are prepared to sleep on
floors/round peoples' houses rather than in hotels.
Playing in Europe : This is usually much better than playing in the UK,
as people turn up, enjoy themselves, buy records, dance, and you get paid,
fed and given a place to stay. Crockford's Law of the end of the tour
states that the last night will be spent in the best accommodation (5
star hotel with 30 inch TV in our case), but that you will barely arrive
in time to get any sleep (5:30am). You will miss breakfast, and this will
be followed by the most excruciating long journey home.
Food and drink : the free beers backstage tend to be more 'gassy' so watch
out before the gig. Similarly the pre-gig meal can make playing uncomfortable,
so either try to get it over with promptly, or don't eat a lot, or eat
after the gig. Several venues provide welcoming refreshments e.g. chocolate
snacks, fruit, crisps etc. I always found these to be best stowed for
the next day's journey.
Quick venue guide : Key: D - Dancing afterwards, S - Shower at venue,
H - Hotel accommodation (otherwise it was at someone's house), R - Restaurant
meal / T - Take away at venue (otherwise was in house catering)
Nouveau Casino, Paris - D, S [Blow Up night, Art Nouveau restaurant bar
outside, modern black inside]
Box'Son, Nancy - H, T [Local bar, small home made stage at back, used
our own PA]
Tower, Bremen - D [2 stage venue - smaller upper area became 60's dance
Coffy, Dusseldorf - D, H, R [club under coffee bar, hatch to pass gear
from road : too small for Hammond]
Landespavillion, Stuttgart - D, S [large hall on edge of dangerous park
near central station]
Atomic Cafe, Munich - D, H, T [cool spacey club, painful push through
the crowd to clear gear after gig]
Odds and sods : - have a few instrumentals up your sleeve in case of vocalist
throat problems. - gear is usually safer in the venue than left overnight
in the van, and loading up is easier when sober, however this does slow
down getting away the next day.
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FOR ARTROCKER 49
CD review : 'International Sweetheart' Shameless (Rainbow Quartz RQTZ
My good friend and New Yorker Anne Husick invited me to review her CD
for ya. I first met Anne several years ago at a 'Prisoner' cult TV convention
at Portmeirion, with her amazing friends Geoff Notkin (cover star on the
CD), and - hold your breath - Norman England. Eat your hearts out cult
TV cynics because it was a fantastic week and sparked several amazing
things. Best of all Anne periodically appears in London playing with some
fab international band like The Band of Susans or The Demolition String
Band, and I get to lig. She's also pointed me at excellent happenings
in New York on my all-too-rare visits.
1. Voices - powerful multi-layered hypnotic vocals over strong guitar
song about listening to the voices in your head.
2. The Corner - a chunky multi-harmony invitation to LOVE…or at the very
least to come to the corner of the street.
3. Enemy - military 3-time rhythm kicks off this warning to anyone that
lets the friends get too close...
4. Your version of me - Guitar riff with a twist backs the thought, as
this track points out, that our perfect bedtime dreams of people are not
the reality. Indeed, reality is much stranger.
5. Hurricane - a 3-time flight through the eye of a hurricane, accompanied
by trippy melodies.
6. Grey Symphony - slower number sums up those moments when there's nothing
to believe in. Hey, it's been out a while, but I think you missed it.
Anne provides the amazing vocals, acoustic guitar and bass for Shameless,
whilst Ned Stroh gives us stonking drum backing, and Chris Gibson provides
the tuneful lead and rainy fuzz guitar sounds. If you want to get hold
of a copy, or find out the cool things that are happening in New York,
you can contact Anne at ShamelessH@aol.com…and if you're in New York,
check out Anne's 9th annual Libra Birthday Bash starting 7pm on Thursday,
October 10th at Sidewalk Cafe (94 Ave A, NYC) featuring : 7 - Michael
Hofmann ; 7:30 - Leif Solem's Land of Orgasm ; 8 - Geoking ; 9 - Anne
Husick & Knot Watkins (with the beautiful ladies of Shameless) ; 10- Briana
Winter ; 11 - The Bitter Poet. Say hello from Parsley and win one of her
Club : The Heavy Load Club, Saturday 5th October
This free and very popular club, specialising in rock from mainly 67-75,
has it's first Saturday of the month slot at the Pleasure Unit, 359 Bethnal
Green road E2. Nearest tube Bethnal Green 8.30 - 2am. Free entry all night,
but no entry after midnight. More info at http://www.heavyload.clara.co.uk/
Club : Alternately check out the South London Pacific tiki bar in Kennington
(excellent venue), where a top funky night out is to be had with with
DJs Frank-N-Phil…but don't think you can come along without dancing. Phil
is an Art Rocker DJ and plays an excellent eclectic mix. It's at South
London Pacific, 340 Kennington Road. 5 mins from Oval tube.
TV Review : The League of Gentlemen, Thursdays at 10pm BBC2
The long awaited return of League of Gentlemen began this week. If you
haven't seen them before, it's like a sick dream you would have after
sleeping on a serious cheese and pickle sandwich. I watched the first
2 series several times consecutively courtesy of Liam Watson from Toe
Rag who brought them on tour with The Bristols. Those series fitted together
'neatly' and had brought all the stories to a conclusion. Now they pick
up the pieces of those who were not left dead (and some of those who were
!) at the end of series 2. This first episode featured Pauline, the nightmare
Jobseeker lady, who was in prison after her earlier antics. Here she finds
a strangely moving affair with brainless jobseeker Mickey, who doesn't
realise she's been sent by Social Security to spy. Meanwhile there is
a new character in the local Doctor. If patients refuse to accept he won't
give them anything stronger than a painkiller he invites them round to
his house for fun and games - literally. Obviously there's a lot to live
up to from previous series, but this was a good start, although sad that
the 'full' sounding music in the last series has been replaced by a more
'bedroom studio' sounding effort.
Overall Rating : thumbs up. Hypnotic, compulsive, tragic re-writing of
reality makes an interesting return.
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 48
Guitarist available : Michael Michael from Germany is living in London
now, and looking for a band or people to jam out with...favoured style
RnB/60s/Garage/Psych. He plays a Telecaster on a 100 W Fender amp. He
played drums before as well but he hasn't got a kit here. His number is
0779 6292608 or you can e-mail him at email@example.com.
Professional photography : Lisa Lisa is a professional photographer for
the Independent and others. If you need photos for your label or your
band (portraits or live performance) she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
or mobile 07899 834 518.
CD Review : Real People Are Overrated - The Realistics, Tiswas records
Good news for us Realistics junkees, aside from their impending return
for more gigs, is that the Art Rocker stall now has copies of their 2001
album. Featuring their trademark sounds, but also moments of almost pastiche
from other pop / rock classics, it's an interesting twist :
1. Monotony - 3 minutes of great pop party opener, with moog signature
2. Quickie Gone B.B. - Slower start before the characteristic backing
harmonies drive it along.
3. Starvation Days - A 'Police'-like verse, leads to a moogy quirky chorus.
4. Apartment Two - Great moog-led hypnotic song with advert-like punch,
and nice line in neighbourly paranoia.
5. All Along The Highway - Straight-ish guitar song with a touch of Elvis's
'This Year's Girl' and sad words.
6. Should've Known - This is David Dundas piano rhythm meets falsetto
soulful vocal. XTC 'White Noise' ending.
7. Turning Around - I think they did this poppy chorus song in their set
when they were over. Touches of 'Pump it up', and teenage lust lyrics.
8. Four-Letter Word - This is quirky and strange, with a catchy chorus.
9. Digital Brigade - This is straight poppy stuff, but jumbled with multiple
changes till your mind's been spun round.
10. Prettiest Idiot - chunky 3 chord pop, but one of them's a strange
one, and it's breakneck pace, with screaming vocal and moog chaos break.
11. New Direction - Beat box starts this crazy latino-esque anti-anthem.
12. X Effect - Moog-led android rock against cloning.
13. Comedy of error - Slightly shouting synthy pop anthem, with melodic
harmony hookline. More sharing around of the lead vocal changes the sound
quite dramatically along the way. Like all the best pop, the songs are
all around 3 minutes long. Wild booklet featuring sometimes just one line
snippets of oblique lyrics and pics of the guys' antics before we knew
them. Some immediate pop pleasure (fave tracks 'Monotony' and 'Apartment
Two'), plenty of musical adventure and thought provoking lyrics to get
your mind's teeth into.
Web site tip : http://www.ufoseries.com/
Marc Martin's UFO series home page with delicious pictures, and Quicktime
clips, from the best TV show ever (my humble opinion). Real 'pick through
the details' stuff with the birthdays and recent activities of actors
and actresses from the show. Find out, for example, that Ayshea Brough
(SHADO communication operative, and later host of pop show 'Lift Off With
Ayshea') is now running her own interior design company.
Gig review : Charles Napiers and Flaming Stars at The Borderline 19/09/02
Charles Napiers were just great, and they and their soundtrack backing
were mercifully clearly audible. I'm delighted they are gigging again.
Flaming Stars were their reliably mean, moody and magnificent selves.
The Borderline is a 'prestigious' venue in London's parking-free West
End. The Napiers were supposed to go on at 8, but another 2 bands were
put on the bill at the last minute, so after rushing there I stood around
waiting. The venue 'lost' the cheap list and it was £7.50 to get in. I
had thought it was good that they played the Borderline, but after that
I thought they'd have been better off elsewhere...
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT
FOR ARTROCKER 47
Drummers available : Rusty Floyd, Matthew Maus
Don't tell me you can't
find a drummer ! I have 2 excellent exponents of the art available : -
Rusty Floyd has flown in from the States and is looking for a suitable
band to apply his talents to. He is quite a hard drummer, lorra fills
etc. He was in the M-80s for ages, a band called the Easy Livin (ex-Mourning
Shakes), and a couple of other NY punk bands. He cut his teeth on really
fast punk. So his style is punk/garage. He likes Keith Moon, Ginge etc.
but he is very broad minded and an adaptable drummer. He played in a rockabilly
band in NY for a while too. The only thing he probably wouldn't want to
do is White Stripes type drumming - too basic and sans bass player. He
plays guitar too. If you're interested you can contact him via Angela_Floyd@ml.com
- Matthew is the legendary drummer from too many legendary bands to mention,
except I would be tempted to name drop The Clique and his magnificent
deputy work for my bands the Adventures of Parsley, Dutronc and The Silhouettes.
He's a regular on the 'New Untouchables' modernist scene and an excellent
chap. He can be contacted via his home email at email@example.com.
CD Review supplemental : The Electric Shocks
Sorry, forgot to mention with my review in Art Rocker 45, that although
the CD I have is a collector's item to die for (God I love writing for
Art Rocker !), the first 3 tracks are going to be their triple A side
single with Vinyl Japan (good call, VJ). Some of the other tracks and
new stuff are due to appear later on ArtRocker as a mini album.
Book : The Hammond Organ, Beauty in the B - by Mark Vail, Published by
Miller Freeman Books ISBN 0-87930-459-6 $24.95
Charlie Diamond was kind enough to lend me his copy of this. Being me,
it took ages to get round to having a look at it, but I can now thoroughly
recommend it if you can get a copy, and if you're interested in Hammonds.
As well as a detailed history, it has excellent pictures of lots of different
models, and great tips on techniques, soloing, and settings. Most fun
for me was to discover the settings top Hammond players usually use. [Trainspotters
only : Rod Argent's fave draw bar setting is to have the bottom 2 draw
bars all the way out, while Keith Emerson likes to pull out the bottom
3. Before now my settings have only been for volume - top manual all 6's,
bottom manual all 4's]
Web site tip : http://www.mapblast.com/myblastd/driveStart.dsp
Touring Europe with your band, and trying to ensure the venues aren't
too far apart ? Tediously this site 'defaults' to USA answers, but ignore
that and it can be used to establish distances, travel times and directions.
Even gives you a map showing the suggested route.
CD Review : Terrahawks Original Television Soundtrack (Fanderson Records
N.B. As far as I am aware this CD is only available to members of Fanderson
(The Official Gerry Anderson Appreciation Society). If you want to join,
the details are at http://www.fanderson.org.uk/fanderson.html#Club. Join
now, and be ready to get the UFO soundtrack CD, due out before Christmas
! After the previous Fanderson releases of the combo Fireball XL5/Supercar
CD, and the 2 double CD's of Space:1999 music, next up is this interesting
collection of Terrahawks music. Obviously when Gerry Anderson's music
isn't by Barry Gray the feeling isn't the same, but a few points caught
my eye and ear. Richard Harvey (the main composer) had worked with the
excellent Maurice Jarre (Dad of Jean-Michel) who did his orchestral recording
at Abbey Road. After Terrahawks, Harvey went on to work with Elvis Costello
on the score for 'GBH'. One of the CD's songs is co-written by Hammer
Films music man Harry Robinson, who not only wrote the magnificent 'Journey
to the Unknown' theme, but also provided the orchestrations for Benny
Hill. The CD includes 3 demos for the main theme, 1 of which later became
the full main theme. This was intended to pay homage to Star Wars, Dallas
and E.T. The idea behind the music was to provide an orchestral sound
from the considerably cheaper new synth technology. This is synthi in
the vein of 'I lost my heart to a starship trooper'. It's an interesting
musical 'vision', that for me evokes the pint of lemonade and 2 packets
of Wheat Cruchies that I would have when I watched the show on the student
hall's TV in Manchester, early 80's.
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 46
Hero of the week : Ray Beverley
Ray is the bass player of sixties popsters 'Rupert's People' who produced
the classic 'Dream In My Mind' and are also known for their version of
the track 'Hold On', and 'Reflections of Charles Brown'. Ray is a top-notch
guy, who went on to form his own successful design company, although these
days he works for other people. He has a magnificent collection of cars
including a Mark 2 Jag, and an amazing house out in the country. Most
importantly, he doesn't carry a massive ego, but is one of those solid
types that keep the show on the road. He also is still up for wearing
the full psychedelic regalia onstage, so he's definitely a man after my
own heart. You can find more about Rupert's People at http://www.makingtime.co.uk/rupert.html,
and the company that Ray is Head of Design for have a web site at http://www.in-pursuit.co.uk/.
Film review : The Bourne Identity
Well, the night after I heard Radio 4 slag it off as unrealistic but fun,
I watched this excellent spy film with a twist. Matt Damon plays a spy
who has lost his memory, but, confusingly for him, retained his skills
of languages and escaping when people are chasing him. He has to work
out who he is and what's going on before his ex-colleagues kill him. In
this he is aided by German actress Franka Potente, who starred in the
wonderful German film 'Lola Rennt' ('Run Lola Run' in English). It's a
role with similarities for her, but she does it great. The film has fantastic
shots of Paris: La Defense and Pont Neuf were particularly fun for me,
having been lucky enough to spend time at both with work and music making
at different times. The violence was, as with most modern films, a bit
too flinch-inducing as far as I was concerned, but the speed of the action
was very exciting. The other thing that I found immensely satisfying was
the supposition that a cool girl in Zurich will be driving an old fashioned
mini as her car of choice. It's then great to see it chase through Paris
escaping from the police. As a regular mini driver I can confirm that
it is much more likely to be able to weave through traffic avoiding collisions
than others are (although you might fare worse if you were actually involved
in a collision...). There was also a nice line in computer paranoia as
phonelines, CCTV, and credit card payments enable the CIA to trace everyone
Overall Rating : thumbs emphatically up. Didn't have the amount of humour
of my current 2002 favourite 'Men In Black 2', but was jam packed with
action and excitement. Robert Ludlum, the guy who wrote the original book
& was also executive producer, died 6 months ago, but has left 2 other
books that may later extend the story.
Web site tip : http://www.tv.cream.org/
Bruce Brand put me on to this amazing website that catalogues ancient
TV shows, and is invaluable for when you remember some oscure TV show,
but only in the vaguest detail. I knew it was a winner when it had a picture
from the show 'Zokko'. This was a kids' show that linked together various
bits of magic tricks, animation and God knows what with a talking pinball
table [Magician Ali Bongo who appeared here, also provided magic advice
for 'Tarot Ace of Wands']. Although you knew you would get a weekly helping
of a space serial, the rest of the show was an apparently random selection
of bits and pieces. The good thing was that no bit of the show was too
long, so if one bit didn't interest you there would be something else
along in a minute. It was this 'jamboree bag' editorial style that inspired
the way I put together my contributions for this mailout…
Drink : Home made milkshakes
Trying to avoid the dodgy yet seductive McDonalds milkshakes in the summer
days, I have taken to a home made variety. This is particularly helped
by Lidl, who are currently selling 2 Litres of Ballino Soft Scoop Vanilla
Flavour Ice Cream at a mere 52p! Putting a tablespoon of Chocolate Nesquik
milk shake mix into a pint glass, I then put scoops of the ice cream in
till about half-full, pour over semi-skimmed milk, and then stir with
the tablespoon, squashing the ice cream into more liquid format. Repeat
to the full pint level. Stir / add ice cream according to taste - less
stirring/more ice cream leaves you with a thicker shake. If you're adventurous
then replace the Nesquik with various real fruit or fruit juices, or use
flavoured ice cream. In the words of Mr. Hammersmith from the film 'Tangerine'
this is "nectar of the gods", although of course you do have to dance
off the resulting extra weight at Art Rocker club on Tuesday nights…
PARSLEY'S COMMLOCK CONTENT
FOR ARTROCKER 45
CD Review: The Electric Shocks - Managed to get a copy of the demo
CD from guitarist Dave after their excellent performance at Art Rocker.
I was embarrassed to find that I had witnessed their set previously when
they supported Fraff, but somehow it hadn't hit me - probably because
I was too preoccupied with my DJ-ing on the night in question. Anyway,
I was happy to get a second chance, 'cos they're great.
1. My My - opens with a blistering rocker, with a single note guitar twang
leading it on some bits. Comes to a sudden brave stop after a mere 1:26
2. Baby what's your plan ? - "a thriller with the last page missing".
Another fast moving track with a good backing vocalled singalong chorus.
Just makes it to 2 minutes.
3. Life is Sweet - Harmonica opens this rocker with a garage style 'speed
up' bit, and rock 'n' roll guitar. Just makes it to 3 minutes !
4. Sick Sick Feeling - back to lightning fast for this 40 seconds of fun.
5. Lust and Mistrust - sounds like the single to me, with very catchy
chorus and cheeky little verse bassline and lyrics. [Mind they don't try
to nick it for a car advert !]
6. I'm Wrong - This has one of those deceptive bass-less verses that gives
way to a full on chorus romp with 'Pearly Spencer' vocals through a radio
imploring "I'm wrong".
Daniel seduces us with lyrics that kick and harmonica. Guitar comes from
top man Dave, and Kaoru who also provides keyboard and backing vocals.
Johnny stonks the drums and Jennie plays bass.
It's today's rock sound where flashes of Buzzcocks meet the Only Ones.
Maybe add Wire 'cos of the track length. This is the epitome of what I
expect an Art Rocker band to sound like - that's if some of us didn't
keep pushing with retro sixties-kitsch space-fest ideas just to confuse
To use the vernacular, it rocks. You can contact them via Dan on 07801
095694 or Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org,
and they've got a web site at www.theelectricshocks.com.
Recordings: Ian Shaw - Ah yes, there is one other place beyond
Toe Rag I have forgotten to mention. Former King of Shaw Sound Ian Shaw
is now plying his trade doing digital 'fixing'/ song arrangement/programming
and mixing work, often working with artists' home recordings. If you've
tried it yet, you'll know that the vocals often let the home recording
side down, and Ian specialises in recording them. He works mostly from
home where he has an air-conditioned recording room with Pro Tools and
old Neve/valve equipment, Neumann and AKG mics, Cubase for programming
and excellent coffee (it says here...). I can assure you he's the business,
as not only has he stomached working with yours truly and my band The
Herbs, but he's also recently done Snuff, The Tiger Lillees, and the Would
Be Goods new album.
It doesn't end there, as in the dim and distant he has worked with many
more, including ABC, Super Furry Animals, Primal Scream, Edward Ball,
Nick Heyward, Julian Cope, Shriekback, The Mekons, Heavenly, Kevin Rowland,
Furniture and Mari Wilson. His rates start at £150 per day, and you can
contact him on 020 8962 9413 or 07968 445382.
Club: The Lunar Lounge, Thursday 5th September Lunar Lounge Upstairs
@ The Embassy Bar, 119 Essex Road Islington London N1 2SN Tel: (020) 7226
9849 Angel tube station (Northern line) or Highbury & Islington (Victoria
line/BR). Mid-weeker at the Embassy with Lunar Lounge DJs. Admission free
Concert: The Felix Moment Power Trio + The Embrooks + The Sires,
Friday 6th September At the Fusilier & Firkin. Expect delivery of some
razor sharp r'n'b, mighty freakbeat and manic garage respectively. The
Fusilier & Firkin is opposite Camden Lock at 7-8 Chalk Farm Rd NW1. Door
opens 8.00pm. Admission £4
Club: The Heavy Load Club, Saturday 7th September Yes, I know Fraff
are on too, but this is another cool thing that's happening. It's at the
Pleasure Unit, 359 Bethnal Green road E2. Nearest tube Bethnal Green 8.30
- 2am. Free entry all night, but no entry after midnight. The music, for
those of you who haven't experienced a Heavy Load yet, is good rockin'
from the 1960s and 1970s, circa 1967- 75.They're not in it for the money,
just the music and meeting great people. Get your hippy hat on and come
More info at http://www.heavyload.clara.co.uk
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CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 44
CD Review: The Special Agents "Double-0-Surfin'" CD EP< Agent Geoff
kindly sent me this Sheffield band's new release from Italian label Vitaminic.
1. Double-0-Surfin' - Title track begins with the immortal words of Ed
Bishop a.k.a. Captain Blue. The tune is, as it suggests, a menacing surf
twang that uses the rising scale from The James Bond Theme.
2. Cast Your Spell - Lighter keyboard-fest reminiscent of a Booker T cricket
theme, if the match was, say, played on a beach.
3. Davros is Headless - Opens with a delightful Daleks in London quote,
and becomes a screaming garage growling dancey number reminiscent of The
Green Hornets at the height of their powers.
4. Dub All Agents - An interesting dub re-mix of a previous Agents release
The songs are written by Agent Geoff (organ and guitar) except for 'Davros'
which is the first song by Agent Chris bassist - he's off to a flying
start. Sharp pop drumming is provided by Agent Scott, with Agent Rod supplying
the vital twangs on guitar. This is good stuff, that I would place mid-way
between Swiss groovers The Men From SPECTRE, and evil guitar soundtrack-ers
The Charles Napiers. The CD can be bought online from http://stage.vitaminic.co.uk/main/the_special_agents
or direct from the band at Special Agents World HQ, PO Box 1562, Sheffield,
South Yorkshire S2 2XU.
If you want to catch them live, they are playing at the Casbah in Sheffield
on Wednesday 28th August with Fishswim and The Replicants. It's Agent
Geoff's birthday then, so don't forget to wish him all the best. They've
also got a website at www.geocities.com/thespecialagents
Club concert: Friday 30th August 2002 -The Lunar Lounge LIVE @
Spitz, Old Spitalfields Market 109 Commercial Street London E1 6BG. Tel:(020)
7392 9032. Liverpool Street tube (Central, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan).
Live performances from the fabulous GENE DRAYTON UNIT (unique Sax driven
Hammond combo, web site www.genedraytonunit.com)
plus more funky Hammond and vibe from THE MILLION DOLLAR MEN Plus! Lunar
Lounge DJ's. Admission £8.50, Doors 8pm-01.00am. Advance tickets on 07786
540 286 www.lunarlounge.co.uk
Competition: The first Lunar Lounge monthly competition appears
and the prize this month is a vinyl copy of The Adventures of Parsley
album "TOP TV THEMES" plus a pair of tickets to the 25th October Lunar
Lounge LIVE! Another pair of tickets will go to two runners up. Simply
visit the site, go to the competition page and enter your e-mail address
in the box provided. Competition closes Friday 20th September and a random
winner will be picked from the hat and notified by an e-mail requesting
a delivery address.
Buy: Sick of uncomfortable headphones that won't stay in your ears
? I can personally recommend Sony MDR-228LP headphones, which have a groove
shaped earpiece which means they sit better and enable you to hear more
clearly without wacking up the volume. They are not cheap: £17.50 at Argos
(product ID 534/1290), but they have made a significant improvement to
my Walkman experience.
Web site tip: http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Film/8165/content.htm
A Guide To Avengerland, this site is the a guide to the locations used
during the filming of classic British television series including The
Avengers, The Prisoner, The Saint, Danger Man, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased),
The Baron, The Champions, The Persuaders, Man In A Suitcase, The Protectors,
The Professionals and more.
DVD Review: Moonbase 3: The Complete Series, Second Sight Films
Ltd.< Catalogue Number: 2NDVD3038 This is what happens if you cross the
genuine Apollo spaceflight coverage with Doctor Who. With James Burke
advising on the scientific accuracy, and Dudley Simpson providing the
Radiophonic Workshop music, this is a joy for those of us that wanted
to end up in space when we were kids. Moonbase 3 is the European base
(1 is American, 2 is Russian). The 2 DVDs contain all 6 episodes, and
are remarkably prophetic with their visions of water on the moon, and
international space collaboration versus the costs being reviewed politically
(in Eurodollars !).
Overall rating: Thumbs up. Highly recommended for Space fans like myself
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CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 43
CD Review: Got the latest Felix Moment Power Trio demo CD, & thoroughly
delicious ‘tis too.
1. Penny for a Bean - Super sharp pop song that evokes memories of the
band’s crazy stage cavorting.
2. Materialise - My favourite grinding track about a London walk. Great
verse that makes the hairs on my arms come up: ‘Sometime later on a West
End escalator, I concluded that my role was somewhat underpaid, Like a
raindrop in the ocean, no prospect of promotion, walk into the crowd and
watch me fade….fade away !’
3. Doreen (my bone is decent) - Chirpy little song about church-goer misbehaviour.
Stonking drum sequence. Ends by rolling into a swooping instrumental.
4. Filthy Little Slice - humorous snappy song about lust, with a Peter
Gunn style riff. Overall, the whole package is reminiscent of Wilko Johnson
at the height of his powers, and is a guaranteed good night out. Johnny
Geezer drums is as sharp as you would expect from the man that drives
The Kaisers’ sound. Professor Blinding on bass is a surprise package in
wacky 70’s wide collar and lapels, with a style like Blockheads bassist
Charlie Diamond guitar is a top guy, fantastic guitarist, and amazing
stage mover, even when he’s done his shoulder in the day before. Recommended.
You can contact the band via email@example.com
or +44(0)208 802 7739.
Web site tip: http://www.mydigiguide.com
Slightly confused about this one. I used it to have the Digiguide folks
automatically tell me when my favourite TV and radio programmes were going
to be on. Then I found I’d been de-registered and they were going to charge
money for the same service. I’d finally decided it was so useful I was
going to pay, went back to the site and found that I could get the service
for free again (?!).
It takes ages to add all your favourite TV programmes (although you can
click on them in the full TV guide listing if you find them), but then
you can see at a glance when just the programmes you want to watch are
on. The individual programme listing is more detailed than it used to
be, so it helps you spot when you’ve seen an episode before, but unfortunately
this has made it a bit too long to print off like I used to (unless you
don’t have many channels or shows).
It’s great if you have cable or satellite (where it is difficult to spot
the good amongst the dreadful), but also for the programmes that are never
scheduled in a regular slot, like the magnificent Phil Silvers Show. Highly
recommended, and I’m looking forward to the next step where this plumbs
sensibly into the video and maintains your collection for you.
Give it 5 years I’d say - although it’s already partly working in Germany.
Film review: Dungeons and Dragons (Sky Premier last Thursday) Okay,
let’s face it - you’ve been waiting for a film I didn’t like. Well, this
isn’t quite it, ‘cos I like to think I’m not dumb enough to waste my time
on a film I knew was an absolute howler (unless it was at least a mark
of respect for someone that had recommended it or invited me to see it).
Anyway, this film is highly derivative and frighteningly formulaic. I
like baddie Jeremy Irons, especially as he was in Play Away, and it was
great to see Richard O’Brien in a film. I just couldn’t get the side of
my head that was trying to meet this mystical magical world to stay joined
to the part that was hearing a kind of American street talk being sprouted
by the young guy characters. I just wasn’t sitting in the right ‘demographic’
for the film marketeers.
When the swords sparkled and crackled like light sabres, there was a heroic
Queen, and the dragons started swooping and diving like a big space fight,
we were basically in Star Wars. Pretty ironic given that Star Wars used
the fantasy genre as a springboard itself, so we’d come full circle. I
did get tired in Lord of The Rings, but I was always comfortable with
the quality of the production.
In this, the so-called impossible tasks were accomplished with ease, and
it was a stereotype Richard Pryor-like young ‘comedy relief’ black gent.
that was making me feel uncomfortable. What was going on? The ‘12’ certificate
violence sat alongside some dialogue and plot that was lighter than PG
! 2 saving graces:
Firstly, the good guy who got killed did not suddenly magically appear
unharmed, as seemed likely as the film went on. Secondly, it was not a
pure Hollywood machine movie, as the filming was done entirely on location
in the now-submerged Prague, and production elements were drawn from Australia
& Canada…and the effects were good.
Overall Rating: thumbs horizontal to down. Watch if you don’t want to
be challenged, and if special effects can take your mind off the cringe-worthy
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CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 42
Holiday idea: The Wild Wild West - Learned last week of a Wild
West Holiday venue in Cornwall where you can caught up in gunfights, become
a deputy, ride a horse, go on trial and get locked in jail, go in the
saloon and all that crazy stuff. No kidding.
Check out the web site at http://www.wildwestthemepark.co.uk.
I gather it’s not far from the amazing 'Eden project', so you can even
do the two of them.
Van driver (and van) available: Bands and others may like to know
that David Viner (07973 293270, email - firstname.lastname@example.org)
is available to meet your van driving needs e.g. international tours,
at modest rates, and can supply the van to do it.
Web site tip: Track down monies you are owed for your appearances
on records via the guys at this site: www.ppluk.com
Film review: What Women Want Sky Premier (boo, hiss) showed this
on Saturday. Mel Gibson stars as a stereotype chauvinist guy who acquires
the ability to hear women's thoughts after getting an electric shock.
The bit before he gets the shock is embarrassing, but once he gets his
new ability it gets a lot funnier, although with predictable conclusions
i.e. when you know what other people are thinking you are more sympathetic
Yep, I was typically moved by him falling in love with the woman he's
been manipulating, but I did feel the logical flaw: everyone (woman or
man) is likely to want unique attention, and no one person can provide
that for everyone, even if they know what everyone else is thinking. And
what would happen if all the frauds owned up, and all the nowhere people
got the appreciation they deserved ? The amazing thing about watching
this on Saturday, was that later that same night the SciFi channel featured
a very similar episode of old TV show ‘The Twilight Zone’. It starred
the guy from the TV show 'Bewitched'. This time he could also hear what
men thought, and he (more realistically) mis-read what someone thought.
Overall Rating: thumbs up, but will mainly appeal to sentimental people
like meself, and is not as sharp as other such films with a weird twist
e.g. Groundhog Day.
Record review: Val's Basement 45 If sheer rock and roll stamina
guaranteed success, stalwarts Val's Basement (www.valsbasement.co.uk)
would have made it years ago. Instead, here they are plying their trade
with a black and white sleeved 7" on their own Motorcityfuel Recordings,
as trailed by Luzio last week.
A side - Fatgold - Scott's full on chunky guitar drives this along with
the backing of tight rhytmn section (Graham bass and Danny Drums) before
John lets loose with the lead vocals. It's a raw brash sound that evokes
their stage performance.
B side - (Lil'red) Routemaster has a kind of Status Quo start, before
tribal drumming and plenty of fuzz guitar and bass let rip. 'Bottle' sound
guitar solo takes it away.
The band are good guys and always have a laugh. In my mind they've moved
to a rockier sound with this single. In the topsy turvy music world they'll
probably win a 'best newcomers' award when they get some recognition.
In the meantime they've added a pumping single to my collection.
Check them out at BlowUp/The Metro on Saturday 24th August.
Club: Friday (16th) - The Lunar Lounge, downstairs @ The Embassy
Bar 119 Essex Road Islington London N1 2SN Tel: (020) 7226 9849 (Tube
- Highbury or Angel Train - Essex Road). The Lunar Lounge DJ's return
to this popular venue with their special blend of Hammond funk, trip-tease,
Japanese Club Pop and more! Admission FREE.
Joke: I’m told Robert de Niro is to play Harold Shipman in a dramatization
of his life. It’s called ‘The Old Deer Hunter’.
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CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 41
CD review: Gee, I hope you saw The Realistics (www.therealistics.com)
'cos they've gone back to New York now, and they were blooming marvellous.
Reminded me of The Yachts at the Kensington Nashville back in '79 for
energy and new wave pop excitement. I'm so glad I bought a copy (76 of
200) of their limited edition CD, 'cos it's great.
1. It's Alright, It's Okay - full on rocking start with self-effacing
lyrics about party behaviour.
2. Angie - stonking melodic track with soul style chorus.
3. Why didn't you stay - hairs up on the back of the neck for those of
us who know what it's like to be romantically haunted by someone that
didn't stick around. The falsetto tune is as hypnotic as the lyrics. Stonking
chorus. My favourite track of the 7.
4. Tiny Avalanches - Another absolute corker tight pop tune with great
lyrics about the ledge you jump from when you're living behind a lie.
Great harmonies and rising chord sequence with a keyboard sound that's
reminiscent of 'Echo Beach'. Second favourite.
5. Stranded in Stereo - another rocky one, with multi-layered vocals driving
it on. Lead vocals getting progressively more hysterical through the song.
6. Go Ahead - Monkees style backing vocals and electric piano bring you
to a rocky chorus.
7. Film Star - Melodic Oasis-style rhythm backs a sad song about someone
that isn't a big flame in the fire. Moogy solo at the end.
They fell about on stage whilst playing razor sharp. Behind delicious
organ from Will and great words and vocal lines from guitar lead Dennis,
there was amazing full-on drumming from Dave, and Mike, a bass player
whose hand always found the fret despite crazy leaping about. Dennis re-tuned
his guitar in a half second gap in the song after he broke a string.
The guys do amazing 3-part harmonies and soulful falsettos. Will all the
bands who aren't quite sure listen and learn: this is what a band should
be like ! Very refreshing. If you missed it they’re heading back here
in the autumn.
Drummer wanted: The Rocket Scientists have got a tour arranged
in San Francisco in a few weeks and they are drummer-less. Do you know
anyone in the area that would be up for drumming with them ? Their influences
are Strokes, Foo Fighters, Super Furry Animals, Stereolab and The Hives.
If you or anyone you know might be up for it, please contact the amazing
Lydia (bass player) directly at email@example.com.
[If you're not in the area, you are still welcome to join them if you
can fund your own travel to San Francisco...]
Film review: Men In Black 2 Breakneck speed delivery for further
venture into aliens in the city madness. The frantic pace reminded me
of the tedious ‘Cats and Dogs’, but this film was sharp, with cool styling
and good jokes. Nice to see some product placement for wacky things like
Twister, rather than the usual corporate stuff.
I did like the way Will Smith couldn’t resist additional meddling in peoples’
psychic inertia, whilst he brainwashes them into thinking they never saw
an alien. Nice touches like the morose security guard at MIB headquarters,
and the alien race living in a locker at Grand Central station. Tommy
Lee Jones is a cool mother and compulsive viewing. Love it when he says
‘we are what we are, even if we forget sometimes’.
There’s a bit of an ‘Ed Wood’ moment as the Men In Black use a ‘Twilight
Zone’-style video to remind themselves of what actually happened with
one of their old cases. The whole package was tighter and funnier than
last week’s Austin Powers 3. Michael Jackson actually looked vaguely human
when he appeared, and his bit was quite funny and self-effacing.
Overall Rating: thumbs up. This film ‘hit the spot’ for me, and it’s good
to know that films with attitude still get made.
Correction: Sorry, the number I gave for Gizzard Studios last week
was missing a ‘0’. It’s 020 8880 0980.
Web site tip: Check this out: amazing online version of book cataloguing
British Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Rock 1963 - 1976: http://www.borderlinebooks.com/uk6070s/tapestry.html
parsley.L@virgin.net (hey you
guys - that’s for real letters to me, not spam !)
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CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 40
Hero of the week: I met Steve Brown, a.k.a. Glen Ponder of Alan
Partridge’s house band ‘Ferrari’. He’s doing music for the All New Harry
Hill Show, and the house band are called ‘The Harrys’, with musicians
made to look like Harry Hill. I think Steve Brown thought he’d found his
very own ‘mentalist’ as I enthused about his musical contribution to long
gone radio comedy show ‘In One Ear’.
Never mind. He and his band were magnificent as Harry performed an impromptu
tribute to Cliff, setting the words of the Lord’s Prayer to a succession
of James Bond themes.
Web site tip: Get free tickets to TV shows (like Harry Hill) by
signing up at http://www.tvrecordings.com.
CD Review: I was lucky enough to get a limited edition CD by the
Speed of Sound.
The 4 tracks are:
1. Ring Of Confidence - racey instrumental link guides you into a hypnotic
ballad vocal duet by Kevin keyboards and Debbie drums.
2. Bloodstock - James bass player sings this hard driving tale of running
across the grass as Pete guitar wigs out in accompaniment.
3. Firepower - Kevin puts on ‘Days of Pearly Spencer’ voice / describes
himself (‘a common cold’) and a mysterious American loud person who reminds
me of me in gregarious mood.
4. Absolutely Straight - Great keyboard-lead pop instrumental beginning
leads into oblique observations about our world (‘can you swim ?’).
The whole thing is a taster for their forthcoming album, and although
it isn’t a commercial release yet, you can download MP3’s of the tracks
Film review: Saw ‘Austin Powers Goldmember’ on Saturday. Some great
moments that cannot be missed e.g. Steven Spielberg directing Tom Cruise
as Austin Powers, union jack mini (new unfortunately) becoming a submarine,
the Osbournes critiquing the film.
Also some great music - check out Austin’s song about his Dad, and ‘What’s
It All About…Austin ?’ over the end credits. Same rambling content / more
style than comedy, but still held my attention.
Mike Myers is now doing so many characters that he can’t remember where
one ends and the next begins. Dr. Evil is particularly ‘off character’
Good to see Adventures of Parsley friend Neil Mullarkey reprise his Doctor
role, this time for bad guys. Something wrong with me, because I expected
a bit more real action adventure instead of remorseless bum/pee jokes,
but that’s not to say I didn’t laugh. Glad to see him keeping my blue
velvet suit in fashion.
Overall Rating - thumbs up. There are better films, but you won’t regret
Studio recordings: Ever imagined I would recommend a studio other
than Toe Rag ? Well, yes, actually: it’s been put together by the legendary
Ed Deegan, former Toe Rag engineer, Dr. Who fan, and all round excellent
guy. Here’s the details of ‘GIZZARD RECORDING’: Analogue and hard disk
recording studio, specialising in recording all live music.
You can find them at ZEN, 51 Leswin Road, Stoke Newington, London, N16,
UK. Tel +44(0) 0208 880 098. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
for a studio spec. Prices are £130 pounds for an 8 hour day (includes
engineer and all backline, drums, amps etc), £10 pounds per hour for mixing.
Some clients include Cornershop, Sexton Ming, Sonic Torpedoes, Delicatessen,
Trick questions (thanks to Kingbeard):
1) How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years
2) Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador
3) From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November
5) What is a camel's hair brush made of? Squirrel fur
6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs
7) What was King George VI's first name? Albert
8) What colour is a purple finch? Crimson
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand
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CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 39
Science fiction lives: Casio Colour Digital Wrist Camera at Argos.
Cat.No. 251/7687 http://www.argos.co.uk
Got one of these for my birthday - fantastic. Thought it was weird, but
now it’s at Argos I guess it’s mainstream.
Agony column: ‘Dear Doctor Parsley, I’m in love with someone who
doesn’t want to go out with me. What should I do ?’ - Doctor Parsley writes
‘Forget them and go find someone with better taste.
Better yet, write a hit song about your pain, get it off your chest, make
loads of money and use it to set up a free advice service for the broken
Hero of the week: I met Susannah Cheal MBE, head of the ‘Who Cares?’
which helps kids in care, this week. She’s a hard working ‘good guy’ who
has an amazing vision for a virtual room that kids in care could bring
up on the computer of wherever they found themselves that minute, and
organise in the way they chose.
They created this idea from asking the kids in care what they actually
wanted (a simple but effective method that is often overlooked !).
Web site tip: Use the Railtrack journey planner http://184.108.40.206/bin/newquery.exe/en
to make sure you can get home after the gig. Also good at suggesting new
routes for those of us that only ever knew of the Underground.
Job spot: Nostalgia pays the rent : 1960’s film extras are wanted
for forthcoming film/TV productions set in the 1960’s. I’m told the rates
of pay are excellent. If interested, contact Cherry or Jane on 020 7242
6717 or send recent photo(s) together with daytime Tel No’s to The X-Files,
Fully Booked Inc Ltd (FBI), 4th floor, 20-24 Kirby Street, London EC1N
Record Review: The Embrooks have a new CD EP out called ‘Back In
My Mind’. The sleeve is amazing with the guys holding their instruments
outside the green Royal Albert Hall under a purple psychedelic sky.
The 4 tracks are: Back In My Mind - stonking poppy track with strong sing
along chorus; A Note In My Drawer - slightly more thoughtful with some
nice wa guitar and ‘la la la’ singing; The Time Was Wrong - good multi-part
harmony psychedelic ballad - gorgeous phasing and wild acid guitar solo;
Children of Tomorrow - Great spacey vocal stuff.
It’s a Toe Rag production, so you know what to expect, although I did
have to adjust my bass control up from the minus 5 I usually leave it
If you want a copy then send £4.50 to 45 CHARLES CRESCENT, CHERITON, FOLKESTONE,
KENT CT19 4NG, UNITED KINGDOM with your address or e-mail them at email@example.com
Film review: Saw Scooby Doo last night. Some nice effects and very
true to the style of the cartoon, but overuses certain kinds of special
effects and didn’t have enough comedy for Rowan Atkinson, so that it kind
of comes across as a poor man’s ‘Spy Kids’.
The best things about it are the guy that plays Shaggy - who is very faithful
to the original, and the use of crazy hippy kid jive talking - like, yeah.
Quote: Bobby Ball (of comedy duo Cannon and Ball) said “If you
can keep your head whilst all round are losing it, and being a load of
face-aches, You’ll be a man my son, and what’s more, you’ll make exceedingly
good cakes. (Kipling)”
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CONTENT FOR ARTROCKER 38
Txt msg joke: turn on ur radio, Tony Blair has died!………..Carlsberg
don't send text messages but if they did they'd probably send the best
text messages in the world
Web site tip: My mate Tony Reeve offers you some free cartoons
like the ones he does for Private Eye. Catch us the first Friday of the
month in Forbidden Planet at 12:30 (usually !) before we go and review
the new DVD releases http://freespace.virgin.net/reevietone.news
Broken amps: Mike Cross Aylesbury 01296 486623 Only man I've met
with nostalgia for that golden 'transistor' age in the seventies, where
they were built to last, and it's easier to replace the broken component
without needing a new circuit board.
Record your own music: The legendary Sexton Ming is making some
room at home and is selling his 8-track quarter inch machine and mixing
deck. He's looking for £350 o.n.o. and if you're interested please contact
him via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Club: Thursday (18th) at the Lunar Lounge, downstairs @ The Embassy
Bar 119 Essex Road Islington London N1 2SN Tel: (020) 7226 9849 (Tube
- Highbury or Angel Train - Essex Road). A chilled subterranean mid-weeker
of sofas and Lunar Lounge DJs. Tickets : FREE
Buy: Eis Stern Premium Quality Chocolate Ice Cream (1 litre) -
LIDL - 99p Forget Ben & Jerry and Haagen Daas, and get your chocolate
ice cream fix from the German Ice Meisters.
Film news: I hear Michael Caine plays Austin Power's Dad in the
new 'Goldmember' film. Cool.
Destined to repeat history: "Beware the leader who bangs the drums
of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervour, for patriotism
is indeed a double-edged sword.
It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the
drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate
and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights
of the citizenry.
Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will
offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so.
How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar." - - Julius
Ouch...and Caesar could string a sentence together...!
Holiday idea: Phaze is Hammond pop groove with beautiful Fay Hallam
and her beautiful voice. Phaze's next gig is on Sunday the 4th August
2002 at the Euro Ye Ye 60's Mod Rally in Gijon, Spain. For more details
visit The New Untouchables at http://www.newuntouchables.com.
Hero of the week: I met legendary Hammer Horror actress Barbara
Shelly the other day (more info. on her at http://www.hammerfan.com/).
She was in 'Danger Man', 'Quatermass and the Pit', 'Village of the Damned',
'Man In A Suitcase', 'The Avengers', 'Doctor Who', 'Blakes 7' and 'Man
She's an excellent person, a Buddhist and a vegetarian, with some wild
ideas on synchronicity.
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ARTROCKER can be found at 3A Highbury Crescent London N5 1RN.
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