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NEW: Stickers
Some other places you can find Stephen Prince who runs Badgesaplenty:
Hollygolightly.com
We also run Holly Golightly's
website and online shop.

LINKS TO FOLKS WE'VE MADE BADGES FOR:

A new section that I've put online to showcase the good folk I've made badges for. At the mo' it's just a tiny selection of the people I've made badges for and it will expand over time.

To be included in this section, all you need to do after you've ordered your badges is:

1) Email me up to 50 words that describe what you do.
2) Send me the link you want to use.
3) Send me a logo at 200 * 200 pixels.

And if you can link back to badgesaplenty.com I'd much appreciate it!

Enjoy a peruse and browse below.

Thanks.

Steve


Bridgeen Gillespie badge logowww.cherryandcinnamon.com

Cherry and Cinnamon aka Bridgeen Gillespie is a freelance illustrator and writer, with a passion for creating fabric and embroidery designs. Gillespie’s background as an independent comic creator influences her design work, often featuring strong lines, inks and alternative subject matter.


Choice Cuts badge logowww.choicecuts.ie

ChoiceCuts is an independent music promoter based in Ireland. They specialise in hiphop, soul, funk and reggae live music events and bookings.  

These folk also said to put this: ‘The badges we received we’re of the best quality, looked fantastic and went down a treat with our punters. Thanks Stephen!’

Claire Baker badge logowww.claireabaker.co.uk

Claire designs for the fashion fabric industry specialising in hand embroidery and mixed media techniques, also producing her own small range of unique products including paper and fabric corsages, embroidered purses and greetings cards.

Her collections are based on a passion for sensitive imagery, vintage ephemera and perceptive colour palettes.

Custard4Gravy badge logowww.custard4gravy.co.uk

Custard4gravy is Andy Mitchell. He produces mainly character based artworks and designs.



Cute Culture badge logowww.cutecultureclothing.co.uk

Cute Culture creates original Japanese-inspired kawaii (cute) clothing and accessories. A love of Japanese culture, design & fashion led to the creation of *Cute Culture** *in 2007, which is ran by Bonnie, a Graphics student with an overly active imagination!


I love to create designs for my own happiness & being able to share them with others is an added bonus.

All items are limited in numbers and a lot of items such as
jewellery and stationary are handmade, with love. All t-shirts are
professionally screen printed onto super soft cotton t-shirts and every
order comes with free stickers, yay!

Diamond Jacks badge logowww.diamondjacks.co.uk

Diamond Jacks is the longest running tattoo parlour in Soho, London W1.

We specialise in creating custom pieces but if you prefer, we have thousands of designs for you to choose from.

Many top artists from around the world have worked at the studio at one time or another which has made the studio legendary.

Our artists are licensed by Westminster Health Authority and we can provide private facilities for intimate work and piercing. All needles, inks and gloves are single use and we use state of the art sterilization techniques.

Dust Wind Tales badge logohttp://dustwindtales.wordpress.com

This is a label for the sounds found amongst the dust & the wind. Very limited releases featuring the dusty minimalist, raga, acid/drone/anti-folk & alt-country sounds of bands & individuals. Mixed sounds of solo acoustic guitar, piano, cello, strings, dustbins, bells.....anything! Vocals of dust, wind & long lost tales! Drawing inspiration from american folk music, blues, country, classical music, indian music, psychedelic music & much more! Releasing the dust wind tales of bands & individuals to the people who need to hear...

www.myspace.com/honeytonecody

Honeytone Cody sit somewhere between love and hate, noise and silence. A contrast of beautiful vocal melodies against jarring guitar and dynamic drum beats, the result is something that earns their music a space somewhere far, far outside of genre.

Founded by siblings Elle and Elliot Nelson and recently joined by drummer Martell James, Honeytone Cody have years of collective experience under their belts. Claiming their influences range from David Lynch to Charles Bukowski, the atmosphere created by their music truly is as varied and dark as it is confident and poetic.
Kings Have Long Arms badge logowww.myspace.com/kingshavelongarms

Kings have long arms brand new fantasticical musical project.One Part Lee Hazelwood,a teaspoon of BBC Radiophonic Workshop,pour in some dialog from 1960's Coranation Street then dunk a great big Morricone buiscit in and your somewhere close to the taste of this particular "Arch Nazards Brew...Feet up ..Aaahh Nice."

www.myspace.com/thearchnazards

www.leftlion.co.uk

LeftLion is a culture and listings magazine (available in both printed and online forms) which covers Nottingham, with a specific focus on the local music and arts scene.

Nicola Heywood badge logoNicola Heywood

Freelance graphic designer.




Sexton Ming badge logowww.sextonming.co.uk

Maverick outsider poet Sexton Ming's own label RIM specialises in a mixed bag of off-beat talent. From surf oddballs the Deptford Beach Babes to the playful jazz-beebop-swoon of the Tropics of Cancer, and completely whacked out sounds of Miss Roberts and her Rude Mechanicals, this is certainly worth a listen. MP3s on www.rimrecords.co.uk and at Sexton's site.

www.stridedesigns.co.uk

A range of humorous plushes, split personality cushions and bespoke bags all designed and made by Kirstin Stride.

Zosienka badge logowww.zosienka.com

Zosienka is an illustrator working in London. She is focused on line, creatures and unfamiliar characters. Zosienka has illustrated for musicians and honey makers and within her personal projects, has branched out to animation, bookbinding, puppet making and knitting. Painted birds and badges (courtesy of badges-a-plenty) can be found in on-line boutiques such as The Bonbi Forest Indie Emporium.


CULTURAL FORAGING AND OBSESSIONS, LEEDS IN THE 2000s

I just went for a wander into Headingley, provisionally to buy food and fruit and veg but I actually ended up charity shopping. I bought quite a few things, had a good haul and it made me want to write this.

Partly to be self-indulgent and partly because the things I bought and almost bought seemed to represent a fair few of my cultural obsessions in one fell swoop.

I'd been past the big Oxfam book and record shop before I'd moved here but the gal I was seeing at the time wouldn't let me go in 'cause we were meant to be looking for somewhere to live (some people have their priorities all messed up).

I think it was the first proper day that we lived here, we were decorating and the like but I was just itching to go and check out the big Oxfam. It's the hunter gatherer addiction in me or some such thing.

In the end the lady I was living with sent me off, she could see that I wasn't going to be satisfied until I'd been through it all, checked for hidden treasures and the like.

Y'see, though it's convenient to get stuff online, I just don't get the same connection with it as I do from physically finding it in a shop. I like the rummage and the unexpectedness.

Anyways, I came back thoroughly disappointed. Didn't really look at the book part, mostly did the records but it felt like all the good stuff had been stripped out and put online (in fact there was a poster asking for people to help do that) and all that was left felt terribly bare and uninspiring. Bah humbug.

...and it's always felt a bit like that when I go in there.

...but today, well, it was a fine bumper kinda day. In fact I had to restrain myself but also I thought "sod it, I'm buying myself some stuff".

Today I bought:


1) A hardcover edition of Dead Man Upright by Derek Raymond

Derek Raymond-a gent!

You know some things sit on your shelf or in your cultural awareness for years without you ever really paying proper attention to them? Well, this is one of those things.

I've only read one other book by Mr Raymond... I Was Dora Suarez, set in and around truly sordid underground Soho and it was one of the darkest, most brutal things that I've ever come across. The opening chapter is pretty tough to get through but it's not shock for shock's sake, there's something terribly human about it all and it's shot through with flashes of terrible, terrible human need that take your breath away.

Gallon Drunk did an album and a live performance of I Was Dora Suarez with him. I had the album for quite a few years before I listened to it all as again the opening is just so bloody and well, downright nasty...

Derek Raymond said he wrote it and then just had to leave it, he couldn't look at it and read it again... "all I know about Dora Suarez was that it devastated me to write it..." and... ''Writing 'Suarez' broke me; I see that now. I don't mean that it broke me physically or mentally, although it came near to doing both. But it changed me; it separated out for ever what was living and what was dead. . . . If you go down into the darkness, you must expect it to leave traces on you coming up."

There's things from it that have stuck in my head that I think I don't want to pick up and look at again. Derek Raymond doesn't use the term noir but "the black novel". Reading this, I know what he means.

Not quite sure what I make of it yet but it's definitely recommended.


Photo by Frank Spooner from the dust jacket. He looks a bit of a one I reckons. Believe it or not he spent quite a bit of time misbehaving around Soho.
I Was Dora Suarez cover

2) A copy of George Orwell, The Road to 1984.

I bought this for a friend that likes him a lot.

Though over-exposure to his writing and ideas may make us forget, he had strong genuinely humane socialist beliefs.

Oh and he went off to fight in the Spanish Civil War against the right. Which is probably a bit more "pro-active" than building a website and having a right good moan about things.



3) The Complete Terry Thomas book

The classic 'tache wearing British comedy actor. One of those books that goes through somebody's career film by film.

Wasn't completely sure about this but there's a photo of him and Diana Dors in it that made me buy it. You know when you buy a book just for one picture? Well, this one of those.

Diana Dors is looking like a right proper English bombshell. She's not the English Marilyn Monroe, she's too from over here for that and she's adjusting Terry's tie while he gives his best gap toothed grin, looking dapper, comic and just an ever so slight touch sleazy with his slicked back hair and buttonhole carnation... oh and his tache is a bit more outre than usual.

Blonde Sinner

Terry Thomas

I just tried to do an image search to find a copy of the photo but couldn't and my scanner's a bit temperamental at the mo', so you'll have to look at this photo instead. Apparently this poster went for $600 online. Blimey.

Mind you, I found out when I was searching that there was a Diana Dors 3D book made back in the day. As Ann Magnuson says about Nick Cave dolls on the classic Bongwater Power of Pussy album "I want one!".

4) Charles Willeford "New Hope for the Dead" book

I've started noticing quite a few of The Flaming Stars song titles come from films, books and the like (New Hope for The Dead, The Villain, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, Sweet Smell of Success, the band's name itself).

Was in Borders the other day and I saw this book. I don't know much about the chap. That one was this Haiwaian shirt cover one on the left below...

New Hope For The Dead Lust Is A Woman No Experience Necessary Charles Willeford

...which is nicer than the copy I bought but I was being good that day and trying not to spend money.

Mind you, a bit of an internet search and I find a fair few really nice covers of Charles Willeford's books and the old rogue himself. You can have a look at some rather well done scans here.

(By the way, the No Experience Necessary one says '"You like it?" she whispered. "I like it," he clenched his teeth, "I like it, I like it!" on the cover '... wander if it deserved the "Adult Reading" red band or if that was just to sucker you in?)

Anyways, I was sat in the Oxfam bookshop, trying to work out which of the pile of books I'd gathered that I should actually buy and suddenly I saw this just sat there on a shelf opposite me.

Well, just had to buy it with a mild bit of fate like that. Easily persauded I am.

I've been reading quite a bit of noir-ish crime of late. It partly came from reading Cathi Unsworth's "The Not Knowing" book and reading her article on such things in my sis and her chap's Nude magazine. Both also thoroughly recommended.

Oh and The Flaming Stars? Max Decharne's band of afterhours sleaze and dignity rock'n'roll chaps. How many more recommendations can I put in this article? Well, here's another one.

The Flaming Stars-You Don't Always Want What You Get The Flaming Stars - Sunset & Void

I discovered the " You Don't Always..." song quite a bit after around 1998/1999/2000 when I was listening to The Flaming Stars a lot while me and my sis had our shop The Last Chance Saloon. Back then I played the albums Sell Your Soul to The Flaming Stars and Pathway to death in the shop. They felt really exciting, people used to ask what we were playing all the time when they were on.

...and this one chap had a bit of a moan about "Sell Your Soul..." where he said it was too short, it only felt like half an album. I didn't reply properly at the time but I still sometimes play the conversation over in my head and go "...but that's why it's great, I'm always left wanting more, not like these 79 minutes of filler albums where my brain's gone numb by the end".

Anyway, it has this rumble that just gets me every time and makes me want to skip back to the start over and over.

...also the cover of "Sunset and Void", painted by Sophie Braham. 'S a thing of beauty.



5) No Surrender on proper old VHS video

Now this you can't get on your DVD lark. I used to own a copy of it quite a few years ago but a lass I used to make clothes with and had a bit of a fling with borrowed it and I never got it back. Last thing I heard she was living in a bus and had lost a couple of her toes through illness.

It's written by Alan Bleasdale who also did Boys From The Blackstuff.

Things like this are almost like looking at another country than the England of today.

Made just as the contemporary consumer culture was starting to fully kick in, it's a view of a lost England... I guess it was before the last great set battle between the old left and the new right/way of being, the Miners Strike of 1984. Funny year to have that.

Police and miner photoGB84 David Peace
You can see some of the prints I designed that were partly based around the Miners Strike here.

I'm semi-obsessed with this point in history and culture: A Civil War Without Guns as it's been described...

...and it shows how easily people will throw away the rule books about freedoms and protest. We sit happily in our homes taking it all for granted.

I remember having an arguement at a pub quiz with a gothic nurse lass where she was saying that people just wouldn't let things go back to the repression of previous eras. I wish I'd come back with something snappy like "That's just a denial and ignorance of history. Look at Chaucer's times, women were much more free then than in years to come... let alone the more obvious movement of German civilisation to National Socialism or Thatcher's anti-gay Clause 29"...

...but at the time I was just thinking "shut up you fat goth".

I'd recommend a read of David Peace's GB84 for probably one of the best accounts of the whole thing I've come across.

I'm not great at reading dry academic accounts of history... this isn't that, it's a fictional hidden history view of it all.

I like this new cover they've given it (to the right, the photo on the left's just there 'cause I like it, it's by Don McPhee if you want to know. Looks like he's taken some interesting photos of political and industrial action by ordinary people).

No Surrender... 's very funny to. Set in a rough working man's club where the previous manager has booked a group of Orange Lodge OAPs and their Catholic equivalent to the same do and the entertainment includes a useless magician (Elvis Costello) and a kinda new wave-y band who sing a song that goes "We're gonna die, die, die, die, die, die, die, it's gonna come from the sky... look at me I'm young and free, look at you, you're old and cold".

Plus it has Joanne Whalley in it and I'm a chap of a certain age where that's always a kinda bonus. She's only six years older than me and almost from my part of the world. There's still time. Sigh.

Radio Times-Monocled Mutineer Alan Bleasdale also did The Monocled Mutineer, which was a TV series about a chap who impersonated an officer and was instrumental in an uprising from the ordinary ranks in the First World War against the useless slaughter.

I sometimes wander about the human herd mentality where we will follow orders, even if we know we'll die for no use. Why do we do that? Is it to preserve our lives for just a few seconds more and not really believing that we will die?

I saw this when I first left school and it had a profound effect on me.*

There was a lot of very fine TV drama at that point that's really stayed with me... The Singing Detective and The Edge of Darkness spring to mind also. Oh and Mrs Whalley is in both of them to.

The Edge of Darkness is probably one of the best things I've ever seen.

It deals with ecological and hidden political issues in a way that I don't think anything else I've ever seen has. To a background of eighties activism it reflects the period very well but it's in no way a period piece. V'intelligent, human and it has a darkness that chills me...

...and can somebody tell me how come politics and entertainment aren't presented together this skillfully any more?

Bob Peck is just superb as the terribly solid, no nonsense Englishman who's daughter dies in his arms. That's her teddy bear on the cover there.

(*Oh and Paul McGann looks terribly handsome in it).
Edge of Darkness

Anyways, I was just about to go "that's enough things" when I saw this here video of No Surrender.


6) Reg and Ron Kray's Our Story (with Fred Dinenage)

I think this is the first edition hard back. Such things don't normally bother me but with this for some reason it does.

Now, I don't massively mythologise the Krays and all that but having been reading quite a bit of the old crime fiction, I quite wanted to read this.

I think it's partly 'cause of the ongoing romantic idea of 50/60's Soho and clubland that I have in my head from watching Scandal (starring Mrs Whalley from above), the club scenes in Our Friends Up North or the drunken carousing in Dance With A Stranger (and just how great does Miranda Richardson look in that?)...

Mrs Miranda Richardson looking rather stylish on the cover of the soundtrack album...

Joanne Whalley as Ms Keeler
...and Joanne Whalley as Christine Keeler in Scandal, with Ian McKellen as Minister for War John Profumo.

Interestingly, as an insight into how class works, John Profumo carried on living a life of privelige after lying to parliament about his affair and effectively bringing down his own government.

Christine Keeler went to prison and even only a few years ago was still subject to it affecting her life when she lost her job as a dinner lady when the headmaster found out who she was.
Dance With A Stranger

...oh and all that Soho yearning also comes from reading Jake Arnott's The Long Firm and basically kind of living that kind of basement cellar sleaze'n'glamour lifestyle in London myself once upon a time (read my article on such things here).

Also, it's the hidden history of shennanigans that the establishment get up to that fascinate me about such things. I'd recommend reading Anthony Frewin's London Blue as a way into the Profumo affair, Christine Keeler, Kennedy, London's vice in day's gone by and the like.

I shall write a full article about this book at some point.

(While on the subject of The Krays does anybody remember that 7" called Wibbling Rivalry that was put out of the Gallagher brothers arguing, with Noel giving Liam a bollocking for getting them barred from entering some country they were meant to be playing in through drunkeness? They used a photo of The Krays on the cover without asking their permission. Apparently a "representative" of The Krays had a word with the indie record label about this and told them that they expected all profits from it to be donated to the charity of their choice.

I would of loved to have seen the look on the indie boys faces when that visit happened.)


7) Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits

Now, this may not be the most beautifully packaged CD I've ever seen, though it does have a picture of the Tropicana Motel where Tom Waits used to live on the cover...

I reckons the picture to the right is my all time favourite Tom Waits picture.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of Mr Waits music, though I do find him an interesting character and I was one of the people who desparately tried to get tickets for him playing live last year when the phone lines and internet just jammed... it's maybe the American-ness, me being a bit obsessed with what makes up Englishness (over the summer a young Scottish chap lived with me and when he was really pissed one night he started saying "away and polish your tennis bats" to a bit of well spoken English chap, there's something in that that says a lot).

I've just watched Down By Law (£7.00 in Fopp, bonus! A bit nasty DVD reissue cover, not such a bonus) and I reckons it's one of my all time favourite films.

Set in a noir-ish could be now, could be the forties world of swampland and fine ties, it's incredibly stylish and the "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream" scenes just kills me every time.

There's a moment when they start where you can see Tom Waits cool break for just a moment, he knows he's got to do it but it's not that cool but a lot of fun and he's just a human like the rest of us.

I watched it while putting the backs in 1400 badges, just after Cry Baby (just re-released on DVD but watched on VHS video that inside advertises Jesus Christ Superstar and Xanadu along with Cry Baby and says "the universal appeal of the musical" which is kinda twisted). Cry Baby is a genuinely feel good movie, in a John Waters kinda way and some of the lines...

"I give Cry Baby. I give bare second on the first date"...

"My brother wouldn't touch your titties with a ten foot pole. He likes his women bad not cheap"...

and "...you may be a square but you're still a tramp".

Traci Lords looks like a Vince Ray painting come to life in this. It's those pencil skirts.

Tom Waits-Small Change  
Vince Ray Death of Thee Teenage Death Song

...Tom Waits lived at the Tropicana Motel with a chap called Chuck Weiss apparently (second on the left below)...

Tom Waits & Chuck Weiss & R. Martin ?

...I've only just heard of him but I'm planning on seeking out one of his albums.

Tom Waits seems to have created a world all of his own. Part beatnik, part cool-hep cat, part gravel voiced crazy man at the late late night bar. You tend to think that nobody manages to actually live such a life but romantics like me do the best we can in our heads.

I remember my ex telling me about Richard E. Grant saying about working with Tom Waits and him arriving in a Cadillac and being just like you expect him to be... actually I've just Google'd it and found it:

"Everyone else is in smatterings of designer casuals. Mistah Waits arrives straight off an old record cover in a '64 open topped Cadillac, with fins, with a funnel of dust trailing down the dirt road. The gravel voice gets out some howdy-doodys and his clothes and hair are crumple-sculpted to him. Doesn't seem to have a straight bone in his bearing and kills me off with his cool by growling out a compliment for 'Withnail'. Out of the side of his mouth. Like we might be being spied on by the bailiffs. Him, rolling tobacco and reefer. Winona [Ryder] and I are 'We've got all your recordings, Tom!' to which he just heh-hehs."

(From Official Tom Waits and Richard E. Grant's With Nails book).

I always think of a part in the Siouxsie and the Banshees official biography where she says she didn't want world domination, she just wanted autonomy.


I guess a huge part of my adult life has been about that. I'm rubbish at working for anybody else, I'm quite good at the job but working within other people's structures and authority just does my head in and makes me miserable. It's not an adopted mannerism, it's just how I am.

The tricky part, of course, is how to be your oddball bohemian self and make a living at your oddball bohemian work... "too each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities" as a certain Karl Marx once wrote... (don't know about you but I don't reckon hardly anybody needs a thirty grand 4*4 or people carrier to drive around town in).

My most recent relationship partly failed 'cause my other half just couldn't seem to let me just get on with being my oddball bohemian self.

I've been working on and planning small businesses ever since before I was ten, so I guess it's just in me and I'm looking forward to being that older eccentric bloke with sticky-up balding hair and suit jackets...

...oh yeh, this CD. It's got Tindersticks and Jeffrey Lee Pierce (Gun Club) and These Immortal Souls (Rowland S. Howard/Birthday Party) on it, amongst others, covering Tom Waits.

I'm actually in the process of writing a book on the likes of Tindersticks, Gallon Drunk, Flaming Stars, Michael J. Sheehy, Bonebox, suits and slicked back hair, proper old barbers, a dash of the hidden history found in London Blue, The Long Firm, The Profumo affair and shennanigans amongst them twinkling Soho lights...

Bone-BoxGallon Drunk Michael J. Sheehy

It's not going to be a "and then this gig was played and then this gig was played" kind of thing. More an almost journal like thing of how this music and culture has been the soundtrack to my life and others.

It's a very British thing and it's not going to be about all that punk'rock'n'roll cartoony stuff, it's going to be about music that comes from somewhere much darker than that.

I thinking of calling it Afterhours Sleaze and Dignity.

Tindersticks Rivoli Ballroom The Tindersticks when suited and booted at the Rivoli Ballroom in 1993.
Tindersticks in a pub-wide angled ...and Tindersticks in more casual attire nowadays...

When I first saw them live and they were dressed casually I was a bit disappointed, I guess I'd built up this whole Tindersticks world in my head that involved stocky chaps in suits brokenly crooning...

...now, though, it kind of makes sense... and of course Mr Staples is sporting a fine tache, which helps.

It may be a double A-side. The other side of it is more Billy Childish/Thee Headcoats/Holly Golightly/Singing Loins related. I'm thinking of calling that either Thee English Garage Punk, Thee English Kitchen Punk or No Man Is God.

Thee Headcoats Singing Loins Holly Golightly


8) Puressence "It Doesn't Matter Anymore"

Bought this on a 49p whim as I'd liked some of their stuff that an ex used to play. Was hoping it was one of the songs that I really liked. It's not. Oh well.



9) Earl Brutus "Come Taste My Mind"

Now, I've already got this but I appear to have bought it again just 'cause this has got a radio edit on that I haven't got and a promo company sticker that says "Earl Brutus continue their assault on anything pretentious and up it's own arse", which isn't strictly what they were about...

...actually I bought it just 'cause they were such a fine band... "will you talk to me for a fiver 'cause I'm English and you hate me"... and I wanted to buy something by them again...

Earl Brutus-The S.A.S. and the Glam That Goes With It Earl Brutus made this record. It's one of the finest records ever made. A big bloody nosed electro-glam stomp in the face of crap British culture... actually it's probably even more relevant in these days of celebrity culture than it was then...

"Tudorbethan mansions, hair designed by Nicky Clarke"... said with such a fantastic sneer...

and "ginger satan, ginger satan" which I think is directed at a then popular chatshow host.

I'm always seeing this in charity shops and bargain bins. I reckon that's me liking what society considers detritus, the things that are maybe a bit broken, battered and bruised. You can probably find a copy if you look a bit. If you can't then email me and I may even send you a copy (I've bought a few up over the years to give to people)...

...oh and the gal I had a fling with who borrowed my copy of No Surrender, well one of her cousins was married to one of them and she used to make them trousers that were designed to split on the bum onstage...

...it's curious how things get written out of cultural history and it seems to be even easier nowadays for that to happen to things that were pre-the internet explosion. Earl Brutus were just pre that (it started properly about 1998 I reckons) and if you search for them, they're ain't a lot out there...

...mind you, I actually don't mind that in a way. I like having to search for things and it not just being there at the click of a button.

Curiously, I recently found out that Nick Sanderson from Earl Brutus was in The Gun Club...


Kid Congo Powers and Nick Sanderson

...here's him with Kid Congo Powers. People from The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Gun Club and Earl Brutus were all variously in those bands. The only band I'd known about Nick Sanderson being in before was World of Twist...

...oh, you know that thing about making a living from the oddball stuff you do? Well, Nick Sanderson apparently has recently become a train driver. I wander what he thinks of that?

I'm not taking the mick about it. Funnily enough, earlier this year when I was thinking about more normal jobs I could do, I thought about working on railway stations. Seems like a pretty unstressful kind of a job. I remember hearing that actual train drivers get paid quite a lot...

In an accidental discovery on the web I found out that Nick Sanderson had an almost religious zeal about pre-nationalised British rail and said that he had finally "made it" as he had become a driver from Brighton to London.I actually really want to ask him about it.


10) Richard Hawley "Coming Home" CD single

My sis's chap, Ian, told me about him. It's good easy listening music of a kind, very Scott Walker-ish. He used to play guitar for Pulp (not sure if he was actually in the band), who funnily enough had Scott Walker produce their final album... see how it all works and connects up and all that?
Sue and Ian went to see him play live recently and Sue overheard Jarvis Cocker saying to a chav-y chap who was trying to talk to him "I'm actually here to watch the show mate".
...and finally...


11) A fairly old looking vinyl album by a band called Bene Gesserit
I know absolutely nothing about these people, which I like and I'm avoiding looking them up on the internet.
It seems to be some kind of oddball arty synthesizer duo. On the back there's a collage of interviews in English and French and in part of it they're asked isn't it restrictive using a Casio and always getting the same sound? They reply that you can use effects boxes to obtain as many sounds as you want and it's small enough to take anywhere...
...the interviewer says "But the public doesn't care about the size. Perhaps."They reply "Everybody can play Casio. It costs about the same as a pair of shoes. It can produce a good sound."

"It costs about the same as a pair of shoes". Now that's a proper DIY spirit. I like that.

The songs have titles that include:
"The Band Was Playing Some Unfamiliar and Unharmonious Music, and Some Younger People Were Dancing While The Older People Formed Little Groups and Stood Around Talking With Sandwiches In Their Hands" (maybe that's a description of goings on at one of their gigs?) and...

"This Guy Was So Mad He Stuttered As He Dragged Me Toward the Door"

It's kinda pretentious but I kinda like it. All the letters in the words go up and down from lower to upper case to.

I like things like this where you don't know quite what it is.


So, all in all a pretty successful bit of charity shop hauling. Oxfam ain't that cheap, which is annoying but...


Things I thought about buying:

1) A book by some aristocratic Russian gal who became a radical communist and was around in the early days of the Russian Revolution It's all workers committees and that, originally wasn't allowed to be published there for being too sexually explicit.

2) A Raymond Chandler novel. Though I know that this is one of the originals of noir writing, I reckon that it might be a bit too of a particular genre, diluted by all that's come after it, the same way that Robert Johnson like blues all sounds like £2.99 off a market stall CDs nowadays.

3) Marc Almond's singles collection from when he was on Virgin. £2.99, played it, thought about it. It is Mr Marc Almond but there's only one, maybe two songs that I don't have on it. Hmmm. Would quite like it but I've never liked the cover all that much, he looks pretty normal in it. Now if it was the video collection of the same, I'd have bought it straight away.

Marc Almond Mother Fist Well, actually, if you want a Marc Almond album I'd recommend this one.

He was on absolute peak form creatively at this time, hugely prolific and appeared on the front of Sounds in one of these sailors hats under the headline "Can Filthy Marc Corrupt The Nations Youth?"
Marc Almond Mother Fist-new cover
Marc in Barcelona I've had this picture of Marc riding a mechanical horse with a Barcelona transexual on my wall on and off since the issue of Sounds came out in '86.

It's yellowed with age and I recently ripped it (not sure how but I was rather drunk that night) but it's still there.
I recently read an interview with Antony Hegarty where he said that Marc Almond was the man who laid the trail of crumbs that he followed to subculture...
...that was terribly sweet. Though not strictly the same for me, Mr Marc Almond has always been around in my life, a bit of a cultural beacon for me and this album is a lot where it all started...
...it's tales of terrible passions, lovers that taste of somebody else and being bruised and yet so so beautiful through red drenched nights...

...oh and did anybody see that BBC 4 concert special with Antony and the Johnsons the other day? I thought it was lovely (though they didn't play Mr Cripple and the Starfish) and Antony Hegarty just comes across as such an abolutely lovely bloke.

I loved the bit where he said about just not being able to take in and process everything that'd happened yet and when Marc Almond said he was terribly nervous about meeting him and probably came over as though he was playing the whole star thing...

...Antony said about playing a tiny cafe in Glasgow with Coco Rosie and finding out about his record deal being turned down and him thinking "well, that's it, that's me done, it's over"... I'd seen him and them in London just a few days before and it was phenomenal, one of those performances that just touch you deep down.
...and a bit annoyingly, I was in Glasgow but a day after that performance, so I just missed them.
When we went to Mono, which was a lovely music shop/cafe/library/health food store/venue/pop brewer in Glasgow, there was a sign up saying that Mono was going to be closed that night as all the staff wanted to go and see Antony and the Johnsons and Coco Rosie.

I tingle just at the thought of it.

'Filthy' Marc!
Antony Hegarty "I still preferred the blonde hair though, sorry but I just do..."


4) A Lydia Lunch and Clint Ruin 12" EP called Stinkfist... some right proper angry brutal lyrics along the lines of death and poison and fucking but really full on. I reckon I would've got more into it when I was younger. Kinda like how I like the Angels of Light more than early Swans, being an older chap. I like my dark nastiness kinda more subtle nowadays.



5) Kenneth Williams autobiography. Almost bought this as I'd been wanting to read up more on him of late but flipping through it I could tell that one of the main points of interest would be how much he hid and didn't say, particularly about his sexuality, despite some outrageously camp looking photos

Julian and Sandy Radio Collection
...but, something/s that I definitely want to seek out are some of these compilations of Julian and Sandy sketches from Round the Horne.

These are outrageously sexual in a homosexual innuendo way.

Well, I say innuendo but it's a loss less hidden than that and uses a fair old bit of old queer Polari slang... basically it was a way of them being open about gay subjects and fancying blokes without actually saying it ("get a load of her lallies" and "vada the bona casa").

Apparently it's use was "rife in Soho's gay clubs, bars and 'backslums' (sex rooms) in the 1950s" (from Stop Messin About)

...'backslums', what a great word.

Absolute gems and from the days when touching another bloke's bits in a sexual way was illegal.

Aren't people wierd, that somebody actually made a law to say that?

My ex used to say that an ideal night for me would be sausage and mash and a Carry On film. She said it disparagingly. I took it as a compliment. There's something about those films... I recently rewatched Carry on Cabby. If it was anything but a Carry On maybe it'd just be a bit rubbish but it properly cheered me up.

...and there's just something about the English lasses in these films. They just don't make them like that no more. I don't know if it's 'cause I grew up watching them but...

Carry on Cabby "...blimey, they're even carrying their own spares" Carry On Cabby line-up ...and the scene where all the new taxi rank gals line up...
Carry On Cabby poster Carry on Cabby in the caff

...actually, in this one there's more innocence than the more full-on sexuality with a touch of sleaze that's in some of the later films.
I remember reading about Sid James saying to Barbara Windsor "I dreamt about you last night"... "Did you?"... "No, you wouldn't let me".
Hey, writing this has made me look up something online.
A few years ago I was seeing this lass and I caught part of a drama about Sid James and Barbara "Babs" Windsor's relationship. It was terribly moving. At one point Sid James asks her to be with him and says "I've got a few more years in me"... I never knew what it was called and the young lady I was seeing wasn't too interested. I guess her being from borderline Taiwanese aristocracy meant she didn't have the same cultural reference points and love of such things.Anyways, apparently it's called "Cor, Blimey", you can order it from the States.
Here's Sid James laughing, just 'cause it cheers me up:


Sid James laughing

8) A book of Margaret Thatcher memorabilia from when she was prime minister, called something like "Margaret Thatcher, The Premiership Years".
Now, this is the kinda thing I'm normally pretty interested in but I've been back twice now to look at it and I've not bought it.
It's a collection of photos of mugs and plates and toys and chess sets and the like that bear her dear image... but y'kno' what, I think it's a bit too spoddy and maybe a touch too reverential. I reckon there were a lot more things that weren't quite so pretty about her out there... like where's the boxing Maggie glove puppets? I had one, well part of one, I think it'd been Thatcher but they'd kept the mould after she'd stopped being prime minister and turned it into a boxing nun. Well, no point in wasting it I guess they thought.


7) The Last Cowboy... a book about a chap living in the West of America, wanting to live like a proper cowboy but the world's changed.

I have a mild interest in some of the more oddball bits of Americana and deep southern folklore. 16 Horsepower 'cause there's a genuine darkness there and it's not like all the bland alt.country stuff ... have you seen that live footage of them where David Eugene Edwards head is bleeding and he's not even noticing it or where his eyes are fluttering and rolling back up in his head like he's speaking and singing in tongues? I can't tell how much it's actually happening to him but it's mighty spooky and intense... (it's on the first double DVD that they released, by the way)...

Harry Crews

... but I guess if I want to read this here kinda thing, I've already read Harry Crew's "My Childhood" and that's about at deeply southern as you could be...

...this is him to the left.

This man is a lecturer.

This is a fine picture of him (I can't find a bigger one I'm afraid).

Harry Crews book cover ...the tattoo on his arm says "how do you like your blue eyed boy Mr Death?"...

...I know I probably shouldn't and it's a bit prejudiced but if I'm ummming and ahhhing about a book I'll often read the bit at the front that says a little bit about the author. If they sound poncey or priveliged then I often won't buy it. My mind goes "they've got enough in their lives without me reading their book".
The Last Cowboy book was written by somebody who'd been writing for the New Yorker all her life or some such thing and this made me question the authenticity of it all.


8)...and in another Oxfam, there was a bit battered looking old leather suitcase with reinforced corners. Proper, not like you're plastic formed thing for a tenner from Tescos. No wheels either, to make sure it's a bit awkward... oh and a record player that was kinda okay, kinda a bit cheap looking but mine plays slow half the time and the wires to the cartridge have been mended by me with gaffer tape and I don't think they're quite right...


...well, about all that could've made it perfect would've been finding a copy of Party Monster on DVD with all the extras and maybe a really nice shirt with a touch of retro-ness that I can wear open necked.

Ah well, can't have everything.
Steve
20/12/05


Post script... I went back to have a look at the suitcase today. I quite like it. Couldn't tell if it was actual leather. Can they make leather hard and box like?

...but, I was just looking at the cover to Marc Almond's Mother Fist when I was building this page and I've realised that it's the same kind of suitcase that he's carrying. Maybe I should go back and get it?


I went back and bought it. It's a real Billy Liar leaving home kind of a suitcase. Made me a bit sad.

Steve
21/12/05





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