So… a camp, stylized 80s musical about a snooker match of which one of the players is a vampire you say? Yes, it has been done. The UK has a bit of a history of putting out some really camp musicals: Ken Russell did a few (Tommy and Lisztomania) which are the most obvious, then of course anything by Andrew Lloyd Webber which is of dubious quality.
Other than the two aforementioned Ken Russell films the other points of reference for this film include the most popular, The Rocky Horror Picture Showand then it’s lesser known sequel “new wave” tinged sequel, Shock Treatment. Or perhaps my favourite, Brian De Palma’s The Phantom Of The Paradise which features a gothic-styled synthesizer playing half-cyborg.
Billy The Kid and the Baize Green Vampire — the name alone draws up a lot of curiousity and that’s pretty much how I got around to watching it. That and London/mod poster boy of the 70s and 80s, Phil Daniels, was starring in this — a musical. Two points of interest right there. READ MORE
The next Soft Riot album unveils itself today! It’s called The Outsider In The Mirrors and is to be released this autumn on Possession Records, a Glasgow-based label run by JJD along with friends Claudia Nova (Hausfrau) and Andy Brown (Ubre Blanca). It will be available in digital, vinyl, compact disc and cassette formats.
You can check out more information on this record here as well as take a listen on the preview below. A short promotional film about the album can be watched further down with further, full music videos coming soon for this record. READ MORE
Radio Berlin was a Vancouver post-punk band active between 1998 and 2005 from which members went onto various other projects, including psych-rockers Black Mountain, Dysnea Boys and Soft Riot. As this period of activity was in that awkward, somewhat undocumented period before social media really took off, there isn’t really much live footage of the band archived online.
Recently a live set was unearthed on an old VHS tape from a performance in Vancouver’s legendary but now long gone Piccadilly Pub from March 2002. You can view a couple of videos from this show below. The audio in the video was taken directly from the venue’s live mix and printed to the VHS. A bit of restoration work was done on the transfer but upon playback there are audio artifacts in the mix, something to be expected after sitting unplayed for over fifteen years.
Synths & Stuff is a video podcast based out of Berlin that checks out a lot of studios of synth/wave musicians across the European scene. Back in March I set up a show for my good friend Ben Bloodygrave in Glasgow and he in turn did an interview with me as a feature for this podcast. It’s now up, the extended “Superbooth Special”, with me talking about my own music production for the first one third of this episde. You can watch it below. The episode is in both English and German but you can turn on the subtitles in the video player’s toolbar.
Far more well known for his sprawling ensemble casts and “maverick” style of film making, Robert Altman (MASH, Shortcuts, Nashville, Gosford Park) did cover a lot of genres in his career, including “psychological horror” — well evident in his 1972 film Images.
Sometimes I get in patterns where I’ll watch a film directed or starred in by a particular person, in this case Susannah York, and then watch several others soon after with the same person, often discovering a film I wasn’t really aware of before, like this one.
York stars as Cathryn, an author of children’s books who is married to, Hugh, a professional photographer (played by René Auberjonois) who is often out and travelling for business and photo shoots. Right from the start the atmosphere of this film is very on edge and claustrophic — not only by a odd phone call see receives from what is apparently a stranger telling her of rumours of her husband’s infidelity, but also the soundtrack. This was an earlier film scored by John Williams sounds very different than the more orchestral compositions he did for Star Wars, perhaps even somewhat “industrial” sounding — lots of atonal bells, chimes, overblown woodwinds and what sounds like bowed metal making for a very brooding, creepy undertone that runs through the whole film. READ MORE