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planktonproduktions

Cult Sights & Sounds, Bristol, Spain & South America

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Sounds

Every Album I Own: N is for NEU!

We have a tradition in my house where, every January 1st, I play the three “classic” NEU! albums (Neu!, Neu! 2 and Neu! ’75) one after the other. Okay, so we didn’t have that tradition until 3 days ago but I think I’ll be doing it again next year, so Happy NEU Year everyone! Continue reading “Every Album I Own: N is for NEU!”

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In Extremadura, out now!

My second book is a radical deconstruction of the Brit Abroad genre (see, for example, A Year In Provence,  Driving Over Lemons)  (on second thoughts, don’t!)  Spanish travelogue, potted history (both regional and national) and treatise on the nature of mortality rolled into one, it includes predictable digressions on cinema (Orson Welles, Luis Bunuel, Nic Roeg)  & literature (Javier Cercas, Peter Dickinson, Tintin) Islamic & Christian peregrination,  wild swimming in Scotland, celebrity speed freaks and the death of David Bowie.  Continue reading “In Extremadura, out now!”

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Every Album I Own: M is for Magic Muscle

I only possess one Magic Muscle album (Laughs and Thrills) and it’s not even very good – a scrappy compilation of early live tracks cobbled together from different gigs – but then again, Magic Muscle were essentially a live band, and, more than that, a way of life. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: M is for Magic Muscle”

Archaeology Corner: Bloody L!

Here’s a question they’ll probably never ask on Have I Got News For You. What do Rolling Stones sidekick David Litvinoff, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide and TV show Little Britain have in common? The answer is… Llanddewi Brefi, a tiny village in Ceredigion, Wales. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Bloody L!”

Every Album I Own: L is for (Patti) Labelle

… and for Lady Marmalade, although that’s only the tip of the iceberg which is the Labelle canon. Formed in the early 60s as the Blue Belles, or Bluebelles, Labelle rose to fame with a Busby Babes-style front four of Patti Labelle (formerly Patricia Holt), Cindy Birdsong, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash, singing perfectly acceptable but unremarkable bubblegum pop-soul. In 1967, Birdsong left to join the Supremes, which is probably where she belonged, and the remaining trio changed their name, their look and their musical style radically, to become the freaked-out funk/soul/disco/rock hybrid we know and love. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: L is for (Patti) Labelle”

Every Album I Own: K is for Kiss Alive II

You wanted the best and you got…. Kiss. I was going to devote this post to King Crimson, just so I could wax lyrical about how under-rated and under the radar Robert Fripp has been for most of his career, considering the part he has played in the music of David Bowie, Daryl Hall and the mighty KC themselves (as in Crimson, not the Sunshine Band, mighty though they also are). I didn’t want to talk about Kiss, and have people think that all I ever listen to in my little flat is Blue Oyster Cult and Judas Priest and Kiss, even if it’s true. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: K is for Kiss Alive II”

68½

canyon

68½: Movies, Manson & Me” is the first book by PlanktonProduktions, available as a free download from Smashwords, on Amazon Kindle (for 99p) and as a paperback, exclusively from Plankton Produktions (click on Buy above). A mind-bending journey through the outer reaches of the late 60s and 70s, the drugs, the movies, the murders, it’s equal parts autobiography, paean to the cinema of the time, DIY guide for aspiring screen-writers, and inquiry into the nature of truth and memory. “A true genre-buster,” says Nick Gilbert (no relation).

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On Brandon Hill: a view of Bristol culture from 1945 to the present

No-one has written a proper history of Bristol in the second half of the twentieth century, cultural or otherwise, and half a million people are simply crying out for it!  Just think: Acker Bilk, Angela Carter, the Arnolfini, Ashton Court Free Festival, Aardman Animations, Alfred the Gorilla… and that’s just the As!  Factor in cult movie Radio On (see separate post) People’s Band Magic Muscle, Fred Wedlock, the Keiths Floyd & Christmas, St Paul’s Carnival, the Dockland Settlement,  The Young Ones, Fem FM, Bristol Broadsides, Banksy, John Boorman, Tom Stoppard, Richard Long, Crystal Theatre, Matt Lucas & David Walliams, etc etc and I might be on to something. Continue reading “On Brandon Hill: a view of Bristol culture from 1945 to the present”

Archaeology Corner: Radio On

Radio On came out in 1979, and bravely attempted the impossible: to make an authentic British road movie. It was, incredibly, the British Film Institute’s most expensive film up to that point – a whole eighty grand was lavished on it, although very little of that seems to have been spent on the script. A London DJ, Robert (played by David Beames as the unlikeliest, least charismatic DJ ever, spinning Ian Dury records to an indifferent factory floor) travels to Bristol following his brother’s mysterious death. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Radio On”

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