Saturday, 5 September 2015

Gnu's on Blog: Aylan Kurdi #refugeeswelcome; Labour Party Leadership; Jersey Boys;Frankie Valli;Subway Sect Gig Updates;Big Gold Dream Screenings;Iconic Foreign Language Films,Can,Elton John,Count Five,Kinks,Jock Scot & Nectarine No 9,Port Sulphur,Bossa Nova,Books, Paul D Brazil, Derek Philpott,Harper Lee, AA Milne and more......,,


These two beautiful boys WERE Aylan Kurdi, three years old and his five year old brother Galip, together with their father and mother Rihan  they fled the terror in Syria, travelling hundreds of miles hoping to find refuge and respite from the horrors of war. 

Three of them didn't make it. Their overcrowded boat left a beach on the Bodrum peninsula last Wednesday, bound for Kos, a mere two miles away, however the boat capsized soon after leaving. Aylan was found washed back on to a Bodrum beach like a piece of flotsam. I hope this photograph haunts us all and acts as a reminder of what happens when we lose our humanity.

Please lobby your MP to take action now:

As Per, it's People leading the way #refugeeswelcome
If you are on FB in the UK join this group to find out how you can help with the refugee crisis locally:
Thanks for the info 'Jane Barnes'.

for Jeremy Corbyn to be the next leader of the Labour Party (Andy Burnham 2nd, Yvette Cooper 3rd and Mrs Thatcher's ghost, sorry, Liz Kendall 4th) because of his  experience; his willingness to raise issues of public concern that others have devolved responsibility for to the private sector, yet still subsidise from the public purse - the NHS, Education, Transport, etc; his understanding that neither people fleeing from war zones nor economic migrants are the problem, it's the state of their countries together with the totally ineffective response to the hellish situations that this country helped to create; his willingness to go against the current seemingly global zeitgeist that 'Any and All Economies' can only thrive if we cave in and accept the terms that global corporations and multi-billionaires lay down for us for having the 'privilege' of them investing and doing business with us, ie no tax payable on their profits, limitless amounts of cash transferred in with impunity, funny how it's never money laundering when a non-dom does it. I have a sneaking suspicion Mr Blair secretly backs Mr Corbyn as he's kept putting his oar in and every time he has there's been a spike in support for Mr Corbyn. Mr Blair can't have forgotten what most of us think about invading Iraq in 2003, of the 219,000 dead to date including combatants plus the subsequent global fall out (see above).
PS Mr Corbyn won with a record breaking 59% in the first round! 

Looking for Psychotic Reaction by Count Five I came across this play list which starts with it, has some totally spaced/rocked out speedy Kinks' songs.

It's been a really weird, though quite pleasurable, experience getting emails from the candidates and their supporters, seeing all these MPs and politicians names filling the inbox. My particular favourite is from John Prescott, which although it started with 'Hello Comrade' it then rather disappointingly turned in to a plea for Master Burnham.......and yet, curiously, Mr Prescott proposed Mr Corbyn.


10 Stonking Subway Sect shows coming up over the next three months
Poster design by Andy Wood
Two new November dates confirmed!
26th November Manchester - Dandy Presents at Gullivers with Teesside's legendary Pellethead, they're building quite a history playing with Vic and Subway Sect! (see above)
Tickets £8.50 (+ plus 50p booking fee):

15th November Dundee - Vic delighted to be back playing at Beat Generator Live! with Very Special Guests STOOR
Tickets are £8.00 (+ booking fee) from Groucho’s, Dundee and online from
Look out for updates here:

Subway Sect L-R - Kevin Younger, Ian Holford & Mark Braby by 'Jane Barnes' 2015

It all kicks off at Fibber Magees Dublin next week! Then 03/10 Trash'd Cannes Punky Monkey,Hastings, 16/10 Miss Peapod Falmouth, Sounds in the Suburbs Sect/SOBs in Glasgow 13/11 & Edinburgh 14/11, 15/11 Beat Generator Live! Dundee, 26/11 Dandy Presents at Gullivers Manchester, 27/11 Children of Godard Presents at The Cumberland Newcastle, 28/11 Bernie Connors Birthday The Shipping Forecast Liverpool (tickets available from Probe Records 12/11, in person only, I think it's going to be a memorable birthday!) and the finale 5th December - The Vinyl Frontier Bah Humbug Xmas Special at Under Ground Theatre Eastbourne. All details and ticket info here:   and in video below.

STOP PRESS...........Grant McPhee's Sound of Young Scotland film Big Gold Dream hits the festivals!
I think an apt subtitle for this fascinating and enlightening film would be 'how the sound of Young Scotland begat the post punk sound of Young UK', you'll know what I mean once you've seen it (info on premiere at EIFF in blog before last).

10th/12th September Cambridge Film Festival
18th September Dunoon Film Festival
2nd October Doc'N Roll Film Festival London
2nd/4th October Raindance London
3rd October Trash'd New Wave Festival Hastings (Vic,Sect & TV Smith also on the menu, among other things)
9th October Southside Film Festival Glasgow
Keep an eye out for the exclusive promo videos for each screening, this is the one for Raindance:

Big Gold Dream - Human League Split from grant mcphee on Vimeo.

14th September Forever Heavenly Presents An Evening with Jock Scot at The Social 5 Little Portland St London W1W 7JD

Jock Scot in conversation with Robert Rubbish and live performance with Davy Henderson and Nectarine No 9/The Sexual Objects.

PS Some lovely photographs of a memorable night by Peter Tainsh:

In September's Leither magazine Davy Henderson (A Trash Icon)......

Latest ear worm Fast Boys and Factory Girls Port Sulphur. A little bird told me that Vic and Davy Henderson may be collaborating on a song with Port Sulphur!!

Go and see the Jersey Boys musical if you're a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons fan, or even if you're not. I'm not a fan of the formulaic musical and the only reason I went to Jersey Boys was Vic has been wanting to see it for ages and I got tickets for his birthday treat. This is NOT formulaic, you forget just how brilliant the construction of Bob Gaudio's melodies are, as Vic says "no flabbiness there" and the songs are very cleverly used to accompany the story. Infectiously entertaining, hugely talented cast and musicians and special mention for Michael Watson and the extraordinary range, clarity and purity of his voice and it looks effortless. As a general rule I don't do audience participation (only unwillingly - aged six, picked out by spotlight in room full of holidaymakers.....the compere wouldn't move on until I sang the chorus of La Bamba, scarred for life) however I'll admit I was out of my seat and dancing* at the end of Jersey Boys and left the theatre on a natural high.   

A word of caution - it would not be fair to compare them to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons!
My personal favourite - Beggin'                                                                                                 

* The only other musical show I've been to that got me up and dancing was Lady Salsa

I was listening to Marc Riley ( ) and this track came on, I hadn't heard it before and didn't hear who it was. I was blown away, particularly by the drumming, thought it was a drummer plus a drum machine and thought it was contemporary!! So it turns out I do like prog rock! 


Go Set A Watchman Harper Lee
I imagine like many for whom Atticus Finch has been an icon of integrity and heroism since childhood (Gregory Peck didn't help) I was reluctant to read this book, who needs another illusion shattered. However I serendipitously happened upon this reading of Go Set A Watchman
and am so pleased I did because this book provides a new insight and the missing link to To Kill A Mockingbird and in fact makes you appreciate even more Harper Lee's skill in producing this masterpiece of narration, and after you read (or listen to) Go Set A Watchman you realise she is revealing that even when it is the adult Jean Louise talking in To Kill A Mockingbird she is still thinking as the child at the time of telling and unflinchingly brings home that if you stick someone on a very high pedestal you are doing both of you a  disservice and doomed to disillusion and disappointment until you accept the inescapable, we're all human and fallible. And then, hopefully, you grow up.

 Two publications to look forward to in 2016 from Paul D Brazil, author of Guns Of Brixton  (Caffeine Nights Publishing). Mr Brazil has gathered his short stories in to a moreishly noir collection in 'The Last Laugh, and Other Shots Of Noir' published by All Due Respect Books and  'Cold London Blues', also published by Caffeine Nights, a lyrically inspired tale of darkness!

Confession Corner -  "My name is the gnu and I am an Elton John fan" (1973/4)
I admit I owned Tumbleweed Connection, Honky Château, Madman Across The Water, Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player (my friend Annette and I learned to jive to Crocodile Rock). Buying Goodbye Yellow Brick Road LP made me realise I had reached the end of my Elton John road and total abstention was the only recourse. My only lapse since then is B B B Bennie and The Jets.

 If Derek Philpott's book of letters to pop stars 'Dear Mr Kershaw' and their replies, hasn't come up on your radar yet, then now is the time. It's been a stentorian effort by all concerned getting this fascinating and funny gem of a book in to print, you will be amazed at the roll call of contributors. Read about the book and  pre-order from Plane Groovy here:
A Very Special Mention for Jean Philpott and her pop star (and other) pottery masterpieces.  Philpottery -
First Review!

Me and Vic by Alan Horne 1990s - Not sure what we were mesmerised by,Vic thinks it's a cat.

A Selection of Some Of My Favourite Iconic Foreign Language Films
The following are ten of my favourite foreign language films, they are also some of my favourite films ever. After Diva they are in no particular order of popularity:

1. Diva (1981) Directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix 
Starring Frederic Andrei, Richard Bohringer & Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez (the 'Diva')and many more. The serpentine plot leads to a warm friendship between Jules (Frederic Andre, mobilette riding postal delivery boy) and the reclusive diva Cynthia Hawkins. Stunning,stylised  cinematography by Philipe Rousselot)
The Chase Scene:
The whole Russian! 

2.. The Lacemaker (1977) Directed by Claude Garetta and starring the hauntingly beautiful Isabelle Huppert*. A Tragedy in Shakespearean terms.

3. La Antena (2007) Directed by Esteban Sapir and featuring Valeria Bertucceli, Alejandro Urdapiletta, Julieta Cardinal, Rafael Ferro and Florencia Raggi. A very clever film, beautifully shot in black and white and whilst paying homage to the silent-era it's concerns are definitely 21st century. In La Antena a city struck dumb struggles to overcome its oppressor, the tyrannical capitalist, Mr TV.
The whole film!

4. Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) an autobiographical 1987 film written, produced and directed by Louis Malle  set at a boys' boarding school in France 1943-44. Heartwrenching.
5. Two Women (La Ciociara) (1960) Directed by Vittorio De Sica and starring Sophia Loren, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Eleonora Brown, Carlo Ninchi. The film was adapted by De Sica and Cesare Zavattini from the novel of the same name written by Alberto Moravia. The story is fictional, but based on actual events during what the Italians called Marocchinate, a term applied to women who were victims of the mass rape and killings committed during World War II after the Battle of Monte Cassino. Unlike any other Sophia Loren film you may have seen, harrowing.

6. Solaris (1972) Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky and starring , , , based on the book by Stanislaus Lem.The film is often compared to 2001 A Space Odyssey, erroneously in my opinion, I find 2001 tediously boring and despite several attempts I have not yet managed to stay awake through  the whole of it, despite several attempts. Tarkovsky's film on the other hand is a brilliant and original science-fiction epic that challenges our perceptions and conceptions about love, truth, and humanity itself.
This is the whole film with subtitles. 
PS The George Clooney remake doesn't even come close.

7. The Tin Drum - Die Blechtrommel (1979) is an adaptation of the book by Günter Grass, directed and co-written by Volker Schlöndorff and starring , , as the Matzeraths. The film is set in Danzig in the 1920s/30s and is the surreal and darkly humourous story of Oskar M, who, at the age of three decides not to grow up in protest at the events occurring around him as the Second World War looms. Trailer below.

8. Cinema Paradiso (1988) Directed by  Giuseppe Tornatore and starring , Antonella Attili and Salvatore Cascio,Marco Leonardi and Jacques Perrin as Salvatore Di Vita at different ages. Captivating and enchanting, telling the story of how a film maker's life long love affair with film began at his local village cinema and of the lasting friendship forged with the cinema's projectionist. No subtitles in this version, I think there are some films that you don't notice that you can't understand the language.

9. Les Diaboliques (1955) Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot and starring Simone SignoretVéra Clouzot and  Paul Meurisse. Based on the book 'Celle Qui N'était Plus (She Who Was No More) by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. Gives Mr Hitchcock a run for his money.

10.  The Red Balloon (1956) Written and Directed by Albert Lamorisse, cinematography Edmond Séchan and music by Maurice Leroux. One young french boy's adventures with an errant red balloon on the streets of Paris. Thirty minutes of pure joy.

I could have gone for The Enigma of Caspar Hauser, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Cant, Aguirre Wrath of God, Les Quatre Cents Coups, Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Jules et Jim, Nosferatu, La Dolce Vita, Das Boot, Savage Nights, Le Grand Meaulnes, Les Enfants Terrbible, The Damned or any number of others including Loulou (1980), directed by Maurice Pialat and starring Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu, before he metamorphosed into an ogre, had a bit of a crush on him after seeing this, hard to believe now.

 When I was very young my introduction to poetry came from A.A. Milne (1882-1956) and his two volumes of children's poetry When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. 

One of my favourite poems still is:

Disobedience by A A Milne

James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he;
"You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."
James James
Morrison's Mother
Put on a golden gown.
James James Morrison's Mother
Drove to the end of the town.
James James Morrison's Mother
Said to herself, said she:
"I can get right down
to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea."

King John
Put up a notice,

  James James
Morrison Morrison
(Commonly known as Jim)
Told his
Other relations
Not to go blaming him.
James James
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me."

James James
Morrison's mother
Hasn't been heard of since.
King John said he was sorry,
So did the Queen and Prince.
King John
(Somebody told me)
Said to a man he knew:
If people go down to the end of the town, well,
what can anyone do?"

(Now then, very softly)
W.G.Du P.
Took great
C/O his M*****
Though he was only 3.
J.J. said to his M*****
"M*****," he said, said he:

Autumn's in the air.
AUTUMN 2004 -Ergon Ani
I'll leave you with the aria from La Wally, sung by Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez in Diva, what all the to do is about.

POST SCRIPT - A few late additions:

Delighted that Pete Polanyk has featured some of my garden photos in his blog 'Weeds Up To Me Knees' and also includes Vic's garden related song selection 'And Roses And Roses' by Astrid Gilberto.
New Releases, etc:

 Band of Holy Joy 'The Land of Holy Joy' - release 21st September 2015, taster and available to preorder here:
Louder Than War review 9/10: 

Live dates:

Goings on at Stereogram Recordings

Released 31st August Lola in Slacks debut single 'Tramlines'. Louder Than War interview and review:

New Download Single by The Cathode Ray 'This Force Of Nature', from their highly acclaimed 'nfinite Variety' album. It will also exclusively feature DJ Tony McQue's remix of "Resist" as a bonus track. 

To coincide with the release on the 14th September.The Cathode Ray will be joining Band of Holy Joy here:
19th September Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough 
20th September  Admiral Bar, Glasgow 
21st September The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh 

 Out Next Month! 
 The new release from our old muckers The Bitter Springs 'Cuttlefish & Love's Remains' is out on Monday 19th October 2015 ... Si's been hard at it, 14 tracks on the CD version and 15 on the download. There is a special launch show at The Beveree Stadium Hampton on Saturday 17th October where your £10 admittance fee includes a copy of 'Cuttlefish and Love's Remains'. 

Really, really done now, honest guv and leaving you with a bubbling under ear worm, this song by Vic's friends The Embassy is growing on me ( I think I blame Port Sulphur!) 'The Pointer', listen out for the Sex Pistols line!

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