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Cult Sights & Sounds, Bristol, Spain & South America

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david bowie

Underground/Overground (Wombling on the Westway)

urban landscaspe

I have a new project, a book (an entire book!) about Radio On, a film only I and a couple of other people actually like, and about the A4, which is a road. Yes, a book about an obscure(ish) film, and the road from London to Bristol (or Bristol to London) on which much of the film’s inaction takes place. But actually (inactually) much of the early scenes in Radio On were filmed on or under the Westway, the A40, which doesn’t go to Bristol, but does enable me to talk about David Bowie, J.G. Ballard and Hawkwind.

Continue reading “Underground/Overground (Wombling on the Westway)”

David Bowie, The Man Who Fooled The Earth

I know you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but there I was watching the David Bowie Five Years doc from 2013 on BBC4 the other night and I found myself thinking (for the umpteenth time in my life) what’s all the fuss about? I mean, this was by common consent Bowie’s purple patch, from 1975 to 1980 or thereabouts, when he recorded a clutch of albums (Young Americans, Station To Station, Low, Heroes, Lodger and Scary Monsters) that even I concede are pretty humungus, yet all the documentary served to do was remind me of the myriad reasons why Bowie and his followers annoy me, while pointedly ignoring his cocaine-fuelled flirtation with fascism. Continue reading “David Bowie, The Man Who Fooled The Earth”

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!”

Bristol Fashion: 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 “Bristol Fashion: Radio On”

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