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The Orders – If Gold Dust Turns To Stone

The Orders are a young three-piece creating waves currently on the Isle of Wight and way beyond. With recent BBC interest and a double appearance at the recent Isle of Wight Festival including a stint on the main stage, things are looking rosey for these ‘Caulkheads’ (please feel free to google that one and no it is NOT a type of drug!).

We had a  nice fresh signed copy of ‘If Gold Dust Turns To Stone’ on chunky 7-inch Vinyl, wrapped in a cool sleeve drop through our letterbox, recently and it went straight onto the turntable, and after several spins a Summer smile finally appeared on this cynical old face.

Kyle Chapman (guitar and vocals) seems at present to be the main songsmith for the Orders with shards of Telecaster guitar chopping into the fray with tidy support from the throbbing, wandering, bass-punch of Issac Snow (Bass & Backing Vocals) with the entire thing held together with the safe time-keeping of Joe Rowe on (Drums & Percussion) who for his age is a mighty fine drummer!

The A-side track, ‘If Gold Dust Turns To Stone’  has an energetic youthful vibrance with a ‘surf’ style twang here and there and a solid indie-sike- pop feel with mixed hints of The Kaiser Chiefs, The Stone Roses, The Artic Monkies, The Who, The Jam, all mashed up as influences, but with a nice dreamy twist. I even recalled a glint of ‘Crocodiles’ era Bunnymen and very early Cure, in there, as the nice space in and around this track with layered backing vocals added a lift and a confidence for even brighter things ahead. It would be great to get the Drummer Joe to add into making, even more, 3-part harmonies central to their sound and identity. The folks at Humbug Studios seem to have caught a moment in time nicely too!

The sound has a tinge of 1960s Freakbeat, West-Coast Sunshine Pop, and mixes that with a dose of gritty Britpop. They certainly have a poppy appeal that spills over onto the B-side track ‘Time Ran Circles’ which has a Roses’ style outro interplay at the end which illustrates how this band have already absorbed tons of melody, harmony and rhythmic spirals that will no doubt come out into their set list in the future.

So this gets a firm thumb’s up from us here at Eyeplug and we look forwards to seeing and hearing more from them soon!

Web Links

facebook.com/theorders
soundcloud.com/the_orders
Instagram – @the_orders
Twitter – @the_ordersuk

Buy record here – paypal.me/TheOrders £8.50 including p&p

 

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Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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July 13, 2016 By : Category : Indie Modernist Music Picks Pop Psychedelic Reviews Tags:, , , ,
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Event – The John Steed Ball

Count Indigo is a versatile pop singer, performer lyricist and compere of surprising vocal and aesthetic range. His music encompasses smooth baritone soul grooves, dark falsetto dance rhythms and exhilarating orchestral arrangements. The uniqueness of his approach to music – making comes out of combining mature themes of joy and betrayal and with a beguiling soulful accessibility. A decade of acclaimed nightclub & festival performances all over Europe and honed an intimate, humorous showmanship personified in his album, Homme Fatale.

He also is a well known Events designer, host and promoter, we spoke to him recently about his John Steed Ball Event.

01. Please tell us how your Year has been so far?

I really enjoyed performing on NYE at Vintage at Southbank. Its my third year there running and the balcony view to the Thames firework display is a fabulous way to see in the New Year. 2016 will be very exciting for Count Indigo!

02. Tell us about your current outlook with Song Creation and Writing?

I wake up with morning sickness these days! I have so many new songs written during 2015 ready to go! Impossible Dream and Bruton Street will certainly make people sit up and take notice in 2016!

03. The John Steed Ball… what’s the big idea here then?

The Avengers duality of conservatism and subversion has been an inspiration to me and millions of others. When Patrick Macnee died last Summer I just felt it would be great to mark his passing with a dinner-discotheque extravaganza that would celebrate his continuing international cultural impact. He’s the most famous British adventurer after James Bond and Sherlock Holmes. And definitely the one who’d be the best company!

04. What Entertainment can we expect to frame this very special evening?

There is a fantastic three course dinner a la carte. They’ll also be performances from yours truly, Catsuit-A-G0-G0! and The Jet Set International.

05. What is the setting and Venue like?

It’s all in the penthouse lounge bar and restaurant of Eight Club Moorgate. It’s the usual venue for my club Mrs Peels with the addition of an international standard restaurant and the usual heated balcony views across the City of London. All in all, pretty spectacular.

06. Do you have any special guests planned?

The highlight will be musical performances and speeches from Avengers co-stars Peter Wyngarde, Aimi Macdonald and Fenella Fielding. They’ll also being doing a lively Q & A session with the dinner guests.

07. What is the John Steed Ball in aid of?

The beneficiaries will be Patrick Macnee’s favoured charity The Actors Fund who look after those in need throughout the entertainment business and Medicinema who organise film screenings for patients in UK hospitals.

08. Would you say this is a good place for Local Businesses to network and hob-nob?

Eight Club is actually a private club for business people so its built for hob-nobbing! 5*Hotel levels of service and comfort in a lounge nightclub setting. Luxurious armchairs combined with a pulsating dancefloor – come along and join us for something special and unique!

09. What is the Soundtrack & Themes for the dancefloor and tell us about the special guest DJs?

The varied musical template is 60s international Jet Set sounds. Music to transport you to a glam dancefloor in St Tropez , Macao or Rio with a vibrant Swinging London beat. All set to a groovy soundtrack from the brilliant DJ Martin Green. A man with over a dozen extraordinary compilations of incredible pop, soundtracks and library music.

10. Where can folks buy their Tickets from?

Early bird tickets from £40 – £140 are now available here: GET TICKETS HERE

11. I hear that you have a rather clever Contest wherein folks can win a nice Prize? Is that ready to enter?

Yes, winners get free entry to the night and runners=up modernist art prints of The Avengers stars. ENTER THE CONTEST HERE

12. What did John Steed, Mrs Peel and The Avengers mean to you and why did it leave such a lasting Impression?

Its the combination of the surreal and the everyday that does it for me. Rodney Marshall who is making the keynote dinner speech describes it simply as the joy of Subversive Champagne. A combination of cool, ironic derring-do and with a gender equality that was incredibly progressive for 50 years ago! The smart dialogue, martial arts, kinkiness and catsuits might help too!

13. Do you think many programmes in Modern Media compare in any way?

There’s a very direct line to say Buffy The Vampire and even David Lynch. Whilst in the U.K. the knowing re-inventions of Doctor Who and Sherlock definitely owe The Avengers a lot.

14. What have you in mind for Count Indigo in 2016?

To release my excellent new music. Take Mrs Peels Club from strength to strength. Perform with Count Indigo Revue.

15. Can you tell us a post-festive Joke please?

What do you call a man who claps at Christmas? Santapplause! I’m opening a Gym for 2016 recreating Victorian techniques for dispatching ruffians with a walking stick. It will turn into Cocktail Yacht Club by the Spring!

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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January 4, 2016 By : Category : Culture Events Eyeplugs Interviews Nightlife Picks Vintage Tags:, , , , ,
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The Runaways – Scenester Reviews

The Runaways (Cherry Red Records CDMRED 237)

Girl groups are nothing new, and this was also true back in the mid-70’s, when a gang of teenagers kicked their way through the walls of the male-dominated music industry and staked their claim to rock immortality. Managed by the notorious Kim Fowley, equal parts Svengali, hustler and guide, Cherie Currie, Lita Ford, Jackie Fox, Joan Jett and Sandy West strapped on their guitars and took the boys on at their own game. Numerous line-up changes followed in their brief career, but it’s the first US LP our friends at Cherry Red have reissued here, and it’s this CD reissue I’ll confine my comments to.

The girls hit the ground running with ‘Cherry Bomb’, a lurking, threatening rocker that refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer, turning from a slow tease in the first three verse lines, to the haggard screech of a crone in the last. Ecstatic moans punctuate the song, ending on a glorious, Sweet-style metallic echo.

The hard, aggressive blues opening to ‘You Drive Me Wild’ leads into a straight ahead rock ‘n’ roller penned by Joan Jett, full of one-on-one sexual promise, an alternating riff and spiced up with plenty of yelping vocals and more and more ecstatic moans.

The glam racket of ‘Is It Day or Night?’ is another winner, from the pen of Kim Fowley, portraying the low-life ennui in the aftermath of a night – or a lifetime – spent pursuing life’s more hazardous pleasures. With lyrics like ‘Novocaine Lips’ and some great, crashing false endings, what other decade could this song have come from?

Proving that the basic rock riff always holds good, ‘Thunder’ takes us on a classic journey through love, drawing on age-old imagery of natures’ indomitable powers, held together with an insistent bass riff and Cherie’s voice handling the melody well.

Mention 70’s sleaze and the blue mask of Lou Reed makes its spectral appearance on the studio wall. The Runaways’ fine take on Lou’s eternal ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ has some surprisingly funky elements thrown in for good measure, nice bass runs, cowbells and some dry-throated screams to take it far enough away from the original to make it a true cover version, and not the usual obligatory tribute.

Cherie’s voice is loaded with suggestion in ‘Lovers’, a demanding, teasing song from Jett and Fowley, with a kiss-off that demands a reply.

Lou seems to have been implanted into the band’s DNA, if ‘American Nights’ is anything to go by. A distant relative of ‘Sweet Jane’, with fuzzy guitars proving a nice touch, in a characteristic song of youthful, dangerous adventure.

The basic two-note riff and Joplin-style shriek which opens ‘Blackmail’ gets your attention without any effort. A hard and nasty fuzz guitar solo in a song as literal as it is effective, Cherie’s voice ranges from a rough growl to a hacking cough as she spells out the terrible fate her former lover will face.

The Rolling Stones’ style opening riff of ‘Secrets’ sets the scene well, a tale of deceit and double lives with a whiff of the forbidden about the relationship. The feedback lead out is subtly handled, and a first on the LP.

A great, chugging bass line and a nasty/sexy voice opens The Runaways’ ‘Dead End Justice’. Basically a 1950’s style female juvenile delinquent film script, set to high-octane 1970’s rock music, with lyrics as hard as cheap nails; it’s the perfect (getaway) vehicle. Even the imaginary film title hides in the lyrics, ’Dead End Kids In The Danger Zone’ as our teen protagonists go from teasing the boys in their skin tight jeans and provoking fights, all in one brew and pharma-fuelled night. The inevitable come-uppance lands the pair in jail, at the tender mercies of police, wardens and other prisoners. Our girls plot their escape their voices a low whisper, but… Well, I’ll let you guess the rest if you’re too mean, or too snobbish, or just too plain dull to buy the LP. It’s a magnificent way to end, full of the 70’s ambitious stage-stylings, youthful swagger and later, the desperate nostalgia for an era they were too young to remember, and the girls bring it off brilliantly for the age it was minted in.

GRAB YOUR COPY HERE

Scenester

Scenester

Scenester lives in London and Brighton, as time allows. Enjoys music, film, television, books, design and anything else which won’t leave well alone. Old enough to know better.

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September 29, 2015 By : Category : Front page Garage Glam Music Picks Punk Reviews Rock Tags:, , , , ,
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The Incredibly Strange Music Box: LP Review

The Incredibly Strange Music Box: 60 Songs from The Cramps’ Crazy Collection (Righteous Psalm 23 85D)

CRAMPS CRAZY COLLECTION

Anyone picking up this monster compilation has probably already guessed that legendary schlock horror rockers The Cramps didn’t get their chops from listening to Eagles LPs. Come to think of it, they probably didn’t learn their licks here either, but the inspiration behind their scuzzy 60’s rock ‘n’ roll formula lurks in the bit stream of this double CD.

First up, one of the more familiar names of Rock n Roll history, Mickey & Sylvia treat us to their jittery, battle of the sexes washboard shuffle, ‘No Good Lover’. The Collins Kids’ innocent-sounding name leads us into a false sense of security, ready for their licentious ‘Whistlebait’, with a strangulated boy (or is it a girl?) vocal. Skip Manning’s basic Elvis grunt is enriched with fine distorted guitar on ‘Ham ‘n‘ Eggs’, a slightly comical take on the ‘We go together like…’ simile beloved of songwriters.

Smokey Joe’s Fats Waller-like croak provides a suitable voice for the crazy jungle rhythm of   ‘Signifying Monkey’, a ditty that’s less than the sum of its parts, although easily the best song title here. In our more sensitive age, we would probably baulk at ‘Stutterin’ Cindy’s mockery, but it’s easy to guess why Lux Interior would have liked this Charlie Feathers song.  The familiar scrape of plectrum on steel guitar string signals the appearance of the great Bo Diddley, in a steady rocker, ‘Congo’, with a heady infusion of exotic jungle atmosphere.

The hurtling comedy of The Aladdins’ harmony piece, ‘Munch’ comes on like an even dumber ‘Give Me Back My Bubble-gum’, and with a crazy sax break cranking it higher. The sax is downright salacious on Joe Dodo’s ‘Groovy’,  but we get a chance to cool our heels and our ardour in Jim Backus & Friend’s ‘Delicious!’, a sort of guffawing, Stateside take on Champagne Charlie furnished with an equally bibulous female companion. Sticking with the inebriate theme, we get a fairly standard country whine, ‘Here I Am Drunk Again’, from Clyde Beavers.

Sparkle Moore’s ‘Skull and Crossbones’ has our tough gal giving her man a good ticking off, and how easy it is to imagine the young Poison Ivy Rorschach hearing this little gem and filing it away under ‘Personal Style’. Rusty Draper’s stammering vocal on the banjo-driven country stomp ‘Tongue Tied over You’ might have been a little too much for the age it was minted in, but has its moments. Charlie Ryan & The Timberline Riders’ ‘Hot Rod Guitar’ is a steady roller with nimble fretwork, but there’s not much here to elevate it above the usual fare.

The Sheiks’ ‘Baghdad Rock’ instro is an obvious Cramps favourite, with its ‘The Walk’ style beat and weird, haunting horn. The Duals’ stormy ‘Lovers Satellite’ has a crystal clear guitar solo to clean the eardrums out, and The Invaders ‘Shock Treatment’ comes on like a lost Jo Meek track, all ghostly calls over a standard surf backing. Freddie & The Hitch Hikers’ ‘Sinners’ makes good use of a not-so-heavenly chorus, in this sermon-infused chugger. It would be nothing but a low swindle to leave out ‘Tequila’, and it’s ‘The Three Suns’ take which does the honours here.

A solid hint of menace and some icy-cool guitar work in The Ventures’ ‘Green Onions’, followed by a Billy Fury-like moody vocal performance from Gary Warren, in ‘Midnight Rain’, a memory song with a whispering chorus that provides two high spots in a row on this first disc. A genuine, murmuring blues with brooding guitar, in the form of Kenyon Hopkins’ ‘Let Me Out’, takes us deftly into a crazy rocker with heavily distorted guitar and primitive lyrics in ‘Hot and Cold’ by Marvin Rainwater.

Hank and the Electras’ ‘Get Lost Baby’ is a tepid little number, in spite of its great title, but redemption is on the way with The Bikinis’ ‘Crazy Vibrations’ a rattlesnake-like sound, with tinkling piano behind and a snaky, pumping sax with deep twangy bass fattening up the beat. Those of you with a taste for low-end comedy will love Jerry Neal’s ‘I Hates Rabbits’, but we’re soon into the truly inspired ‘Twistin’ In The Jungle’, Buddy Bow’s near-horror movie soundtrack with its bonkers bongos and brass.

James and Septette’s ’‘Congo Elegy’ comes on like a perverse Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett out-take, with a mambo struggling to get out of the piece, and desperate, salacious lyrics. A standard Bill Haley-o-like beat for ‘Tarzan’ from Glen Reeves & His Rock-Billys, and to end this disc, two songs entitled ‘Voodoo Doll’. The Interiors (dig that name…) piece is an R ‘n’ B chugger and Glenda and Glen’s has an unnerving female vocal and random raindrop sound in the bass that does the job the more effectively of the two. (Heard that name before somewhere, too.)

The innocent sounding Buddy Holly-ish performance of ‘Straight Skirt’ by Gene Summers that opens the second CD belies the rather lecherous subject matter. The Ventures are in fine form in ‘Bumble Bee Twist’, picking their way precisely through a ‘Man of Mystery’ style riff. The Romans’ ‘Uh Huh’ is every bit as primitive as the title suggests a crazy piece of exotica, chugging guitars and exclaiming sax. Art Wood’s hillbilly hiccupping on ‘My Jib’ is a little too stereotypical to satisfy. The fast, jazzy rock ‘n’ roll and sax craziness of Sil Austin in ‘Fallout’ is far more pleasing to the ear.

Charlie Feathers’ ‘Wild Wild Party’ shuffle has its moments, as does Gene Simmons and the Rebels’ ‘Twixteen’, an Eddie Cochrane-a-like treatment of a tale of perilously young sexual allure. Martin Denny’s ‘Misirlou’ uses creepy woodwind and drum brushes hissing their snakeish rhythm in a very different take on the classic tune.

The Forbidden Five show us why they’re called so, with their bongos, animal noises and weird Eastern/Western rhythms in ‘RFD Rangoon’,  and continuing with the Eastern stylings, Preston Love and Orchestra serve up a tasty slice of exotica in ‘Ali Baba’s Boogie’. The Bambinos’ ‘Algiers’ is another entry in the downright disturbing category, and Marvin Rainwater’s distorted echo sounds like it was produced with some species of elastic band, on his bizarre ‘Boo Hoo’. Dick Penner’s ‘Cindy Lou’s slightly mocking guitar notes and sinister twang perfectly suit this borderline suggestive song. Skip Manning’s ‘Devil Blues’ is more big band than bottleneck, with its ‘behave or face the consequences’ message.

The Red Callender Sextet offer up more exotica in ‘Voodoo’, and Garry and Larry’s hard driven ‘Garlic Bread’ is by way of total contrast.

Moving into the Red Zone, The Blenders’ ‘Don’t F*ck Around With Love deliver the doo-wop  song sweetly, making the profanity all the more of a surprise, but The Empallos’ ‘Hi Cups’ mighty sax creep is true instro-salaciousness.  The Midnighters’ rock ‘n’ roller ‘Sexy Ways’ fully lives up to its name.

‘Gumbo’ by Shades of Rhythm has a loose, crazy feel, and The Voxpoppers ‘The Last Drag’ has a screechy-voiced treatment with the faint air of Fats Domino about it. Roland Janes’ ‘Guitarville’ has the fabulous spacey twangy bass and subtle, tapping drums of a surf classic. The Ventures’ ‘Ginchy’s faintly Neo-Classical high-note guitar workout pleases, and Spot Barnett’s loud, brash, Rock ‘n’ Blues ‘Sweetmeats’ is enlivened by a wavering sax. For my money, the standout track here is ‘Young William & The Jamaicans’ urgent, echoed ‘Limbo Drum Part 1’. Ike Turner Orchestra’s ‘Cuban Get Away’ seems a little too far removed from Ike to be all his work. Our CD selection closes with Bobby Rhines and the Rogues’ call-and-response  festival, ‘Port Zibee Part II’ and Tommy Mercer and the McBrides’ ‘Volcano Rock’, a left-field rock ‘n’ roller with enough sound effects to make even Joe Meek blush.

What’d’ya mean, you’ve got ‘em all?

GRAB  A COPY HERE

Scenester

Scenester

Scenester lives in London and Brighton, as time allows. Enjoys music, film, television, books, design and anything else which won’t leave well alone. Old enough to know better.

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July 20, 2015 By : Category : Cult Front page Music Picks Punk Reviews RnB Rockabilly Tags:, , ,
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Patrick Macnee – Obituary

Mrs Peel We’re Needed!

The sad passing of Patrick Macnee, the star of the legendary cult TV show The Avengers has no doubt left fans of the show in mourning. According to reports Patrick Macnee died peacefully on Thursday at his home in Rancho Mirage, California with his family by his bedside.

Patrick Macnee died at the age of 93 and was arguably most famous for his brilliant portrayal of the quintessential English eccentric secret agent John Steed in the ‘’Spy-Fi’’ television series in the 1960s. However, Macnee made over 150 appearances in television and film, which spanned across 5 decades and he also had a distinguished military career as a seaman in the Royal Navy during World War II.

Patrick Macnee became indelibly linked with the character John Steed as Macnee came across as a well-spoken, witty, and charming old school English gentlemen much like his alter ego in The Avengers. For fans of the series Macnee and John Steed were almost inseparable, and he acknowledged this in 1967 when he said in an interview that ‘’I know the part of Steed was created for me, and it was developed from my own background and personality, but I am still a long way from being typecast’’.

However, fact and fiction often get blurred in these scenarios, and need to be separated in order to get a clearer picture of Patrick Macnee’s life prior to his most famous role.  Macnee was born in London in 1922 and was raised in Berkshire by a wealthy and somewhat aristocratic family. Despite this seemingly privileged lifestyle there lay family dysfunctionality, which came in the form of his eccentric father and lesbian mother. His father Daniel Macnee trained and bred horses, but his extra-curricular activities included heavy drinking and gambling, which saw him whittle away the family fortune. The young Macnee was then raised by his newly divorced mother Dorothea Mary and her lover.  Macnee would later attend Summer Fields School in Oxford followed by a stint at Eton College, and it was at Eton that he developed a burgeoning taste for life in the performing arts.

It appeared that Macnee’s acting career took the traditional route of theatre, television and films. However, it seems that Macnee’s early foray into television did not run smoothly and he landed peripheral and unsatisfying roles in films such as Pygmalion in 1938. His role as an extra in this film set the immediate template for his acting career, which stagnated to some extent and was cut short altogether with the onset of World War II.

Macnee was enlisted into the Royal Navy in 1942 and the carnage that he witnessed in WWII, including the death of close friends prompted him to famously resist using a gun in The Avengers, despite protestations from the producers of the show. Once he completed his military service he won a scholarship to study at the Webber Douglas School of Dramatic Art. He subsequently resumed his acting career and appeared in minor roles in films such as The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), and as young Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol (1951), and the musical comedy Les Girls (1957).

Perhaps it was these more minor roles, which led Macnee to try his acting luck in the United States and then Canada with the Old Vic Troupe. However Macnee landed only small and somewhat inconsequential roles in television and films. When Macnee returned to the UK he landed a role as a producer on the Winston Churchill themed documentary The Valiant Years in 1960 and within a year his acting career would be relaunched in spectacular fashion when he was cast as John Steed in The Avengers.

When Macnee was cast as Steed in The Avengers in 1961 he was in a supporting role as the show initially focused on Dr David Keel played by Ian Hendry. It would be fair to say that The Avengers in 1961 bared little resemblance to what the show eventually became famous and much loved for. As a viewing spectacle these early episodes of The Avengers were plodding, staid and devoid of any sense of  real irony or subtle humour. It was the irony, innuendo and wit that characterised the series in the mid to late 1960s so splendidly. But what sent The Avengers into a whole new spear of popularity in 1962 was Macnee assuming the lead role after the departure of Ian Hendry, and pairing his alter ego Steed with a succession of assertive, independent and intelligent female assistants.

It was a stroke of genius on the part of the producers to team Steed up on an equal footing with a female, who more often than not came to his rescue when he was in trouble. The succession of actresses to assume the joint lead role included Honor Blackman, Dame Diana Rigg, and Linda Thorson. The Avengers became very popular when Steed was paired with Cathy Gale played by Blackman; however the show became a runaway success when Steed was paired with the delectable Mrs Emma Peel (Dame Diana Rigg) in 1965.

John Steed and Emma Peel became arguably one of the most identifiable and charismatic double acts ever seen on television. Both characters had chemistry between them that was magical and utterly irresistable to watch. The witty dialogue and innuendo, which was playful, light hearted and often flirtatious was part of the appeal for viewers as more often than not there was the suggestion of romance between the two characters

They were indeed a match made in television heaven as viewers were treated to fantastical story lines and surreal visuals that were stunningly brought to life when colour episodes were introduced in 1967. Macnee was also a style icon in his own right and his alter ego Steed was always impeccably dressed in Saville Row and Pierre Cardin designed 3-piece suits, beautifully tailored shirts and a cravat or tie. Part of the allure for fans of The Avengers was the stunning clothes worn by Steed and his female assistants. His immaculately tailored suits and his legendary bowler hats and umbrellas set this dandy far apart from everyone else in the sartorial stakes.

Macnee and Rigg became so famous in their roles that they must have been in danger of being type cast. It must have been almost impossible for viewers at the time to digest the news that Rigg was standing down from her role as Emma Peel in October 1967. Her final appearance in Forget-Me-Not coincided with the introduction of Steed’s latest sidekick Tara King played by Linda Thorson.

The tear jerking final episode sees Emma Peel say an emotional goodbye to Steed with the quip ‘’always keep your bowler hat on in times of stress’’, which added a comic and poignant finale to one of television’s greatest ever double acts. Emma then gets into her car with her bowler hatted husband Peter (who bears a remarkable resemblance to the on looking and bemused Steed) and glances back at Steed with a wry smile on her face, and it is this final knowing glance at Steed and then her husband, which confirms that her ideal man all along was someone who was the mirror image of Steed.

The Avengers would continue until 1969 and Linda Thorson as Tara King had the unenviable task of trying to fill the massive void left by Diana Rigg. The relationship between Steed and his new cohort was even more flirtatious, suggestive and innuendo laden than ever before, but sadly for Linda Thorson her character was a little subservient and often came across as vulnerable and silly, which undermined the character and was the antithesis of her predecessor. However, by 1969 the show ran into financial difficulty when it lost the backing from ABC in America. The producers reluctantly decided that The Avengers could not continue and the so called last ever episode Bizarre was screened in May 1969.

Macnee would eventually reprise his role as the much loved John Steed in The New Avengers in 1976, and this time he was assisted by Purdey (Joanna Lumley) and Mike Gambit (Gareth Hunt). Although the show was very popular with viewers it failed to recapture the magic and humour of the original series. Although there was chemistry between the three characters it rather felt like the show should never have been resurrected as The Avengers was a quintessentially 1960s show, and all the avant-garde ideas of the original Avengers was sadly never repeated in the latter carnation of the show, and the series came to an end in 1977 after a run of 26 episodes.

Macnee’s other significant acting roles included parts in Battlestar Galactica (1979), This is Spinal Tap (1984), A View to a Kill (1985) and Around the World in 80 Days (1989). However, Patrick Macnee will forever be remembered for his brilliant portrayal of the bowler hatted and umbrella wielding eccentric British secret agent John Steed, in one of the most influential television series ever made in the UK. The Avengers enduring popularity ultimately lay in the casting of a pair of fabulous characters in John Steed and Emma Peel. The brilliant portrayal of the eccentric, stylish, witty and lovable spy John Steed will keep the memory of Patrick Macnee alive in the hearts and minds of fans of The Avengers for many more years to come.

Long John

Charming Chap and a new sharp force for Eyeplug, being a toppermost writer with a keen appreciation for things of quality and distinction. A well known face on the London ‘Mod’ Scene but with an open mind and heart. Got a strange interest in Pirates? One to watch out for!

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June 29, 2015 By : Category : Articles Cult Culture Eyeplugs Front page Heroes Media Picks TV Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Brian James: LP Review by Colin Bryce

Brian James: The Guitar That Dripped Blood (Easy Action)

Brian James’ distinctive guitar tone, riff-craft and sonic song-writing style is on full alert here on this new one from Easy Action. Ten top tracks that echo the Damned, Stooges and James’ own previous solo classics (Tanz Der Youth, Brains etc) and that push this one hard. James doesn’t handle all the lead vocals here though – it makes little or no sense to me that James would have anyone other than himself sing. His charismatic drawl is everything that these songs need. Guest vocalist Adam Becvar (4 tunes) sounds similar enough to be unnecessary and but different enough to want to hear James back taking the lead. This is a rough and ready release and guest guitarist Cheetah Chrome grinds it out with James on ‘Becoming a Nuisance’ just to add that little bit more Stoogey-grind so beloved by both guitarists. (10 tracks.)

GRAB A COPY HERE!

Web Links
easyaction.co.uk

 
 

 

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Eyeplugs Front page Garage Music Picks Post-punk Punk Reviews Tags:, , , ,
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The Montecristos: LP Review by Colin Bryce

The Montecristos: Born to Rock‘n’Roll (Easy Action)

Its rock‘n’roll fetish time! Big ‘ol guitars! A blazing (all gal) horn section with a stand-up bass pumping the bottom of that primitive rockin’ rhythm to get ‘em out on the floor. Add a pile of peroxide and pomade, a little bit of leopard on your strides and some suggestive late-night ideas from vocalist/guitarist and front man Neal X and you’ll have a pretty good idea where London’s Montecristos are coming from. Fronted by former Sigue Sigue Sputnick and Marc Almond guitarist Neal X this six piece outfit has got the show going. Plenty of 50s glitz and gonzo with the occasional nod to the swingin’ 60s (the Rascal’s “Good Lovin’”) and with Marc Almond as featured guest vocalist on Vince Taylor’s well-known classic “Brand New Cadillac”. Like “Good Lovin’” it could probably have been swapped out for one of the band’s originals or something a little more uncommon but they may very well help with getting some friendly radio play. I was very pleased to see the great rock writer Nina Antonia listed as co-writer on the title track “Born to Rock’n’Roll”. No doubts here – the Montecristos are rockin’ it. (14 tracks.)

GRAB A COPY HERE!

Web Links
themontecristos.com

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Blues Eyeplugs Front page Garage Modernist Music Picks Reviews Soul Tags:, , , , ,
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Vic Godard – 30 Odd Years (Part 2)

Welcome to the second part of the Vic Godard – 30 Odd Years review.

DISC TWO

01 We’ll Keep Our Chains

A Bolan/Bowie-esque fuzzed out Glam start to Disc Two with a super catchy singalong with soaring soulful backing vocals that underpin this feel-good anthem! Wow, what a start!

02 Common Thief

With backing Vocals via Janan Kura and Sez Pistols legend, Paul Cook on Drum duties this track builds into a mini Northern Soul style Masterpiece with an  inspirational Doobie Gray stomperlong that mirrors loves’ true ups and downs!

03 I Wish

A classic classy track written by the magical Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas team, with old friend Edwyn Collins on production control and also Bass, Backing Vocals and bits of corking Guitar work make this milestone track once dealt with by none other than giants such as Nina Simone and Solomon Burke, and even with an instrumental cool jazz version used by Barry Norman’s Film Review Show, which was as genuine, honest, heartfelt and bullshit free as this version.

04 The Writers Slumped

Off on a big tangent next with this angular P.I.L meets Rolf Harris whilst attending a Freestylers’ Dub-Step Show work-out that again shows that Vic and the Crew can do as they damn please!

05 Back In A Void Agian

A Stonesy/Bolan/Primals feel to this one with an Art-rocker snarl and just enough bite to hit home!

06 At The Circus

‘Singing In A Circus Ring’ exhales Vic as ringmaster with this catchy, clever Cha Cha Cha choon, with plucky plucked Melodies weaving and bobbing and the Sawdust hiding all manner of secrets!

07 Americana On Fire

Almost a spoken word chaotic intro with a Cash meets Clash via the Magic Band evoking a sorta drunken Tequlia border party, with great added Spagbowl-Western Postman style whistling!

08 Ambition

Originally released as a 7 inch instant spikey classic in 1978 via Rough Trade, this was and remains one of my own personal fave, cherished possessions and still to this day makes the grey hairs stand up on the back of my neck (when once they were dyed jet black). The version icluded here is an alternative live sounding lolling rolling punky bluesy mash-up, which captures the fun and art but could never be a patch on the single version of course. I remember Billy Childish once stopping a show as he had spotted Vic in the crowd to say heartfelt words to the affect of ‘Thanks for ‘Ambition’ Vic, British music went downhill after that record!’ He really may have a point!

09 That Train

Localised references to Mortlake Station drive this garage-skiffle explosion that includes strange and painfully held long beyond long notes towards the jumbled conclusion. Short sharp and rollling! Taken from 2010s ‘We Come As Aliens’ LP.

10 Stool Pidgeon

Can be found also on the 2009 ‘Live In Stereo’ Collection and builds to a classic Indie Rock style affair as good as any of that ilk!

11 Why Did You Shoot Me?

Begins with a Talking Heads type feel, choppy, bouncey, angular and frenetic. Also taken from the  ‘Live In Stereo’ Collection.

12 Derail Your Senses

A stop and start no-wave yarn that seems to confront delusion, confusion and the mystery of reality. It manages to make sense somehow.

13 Not Watching The Devil

Really great rounded Drum sound on this Elvis style rocker also from the  ‘Live In Stereo’ Collection that buzzes along with excellent artful production from Murray Robertson and some sterling guitar work!

14 Imbalance

The opening track from 1993s ‘End of the Surrey People’ LP which has a slight Blur-esque feel and pace which was very much of it’s time in many respects. The guitar and bass weave through each other in this instrumental piece that sets up that LP nicely!

15 Blackpool

A George Formby style beano to the great traditional ‘British Northern Seaside Resort’ which shows Vic and the gang can capture a unique blend of pathos, fun, humour, irony, cheek, wit, honesty and nostalgia all in one place and space. Clever, charming, catchy and warming. Dada meets Music Hall and they have an ice-cream whilst paddling. Simply smashing and make you want to take a boozey punt of the Doney rides!

15 T.R.O.U.B.L.E

Troubled romance is in the air, daydreams escape to pastures anew, being kept on your toes spelt out clearly a la title! Curls of brass and vibes pinpoint the hooks with a perfect rhythm section that builds the atmosphere wherein danger lurks! Another cracker!

16 The Wedding Song

Bossa Nova romance with heart strung violins, plucked tickled tones, and breezy accordians in a sort of surreal Dean Martin romp in the sunshine.

17 Music Of A werewolf

From ‘We Come As Aliens’ – Spacey, Esquivel style swinging moonlight safari within a Joe Meek subliminal style soundscape shapes this horror-popper and keeps us guessing!

18 Take Over

Another tune from 2010s ‘We Come As Aliens’  features some classy screaming and offbeat capers. Paranormal paranoia can indeed be fun.

19 Back In The Community

Total cracker of a piece about ‘lessons in humility’ to get back to the ‘sense of community’, valid and well considered observations that ring true today.

20 Best Album

The opening track of ‘We Come As Aliens’ – swinging Indie Rocker with a hint of Southern sullen soul, builds into an almost Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons style chorus workout with subtle key changes, swirling yearning organ and smooth layers of backing vocals which are superbly engineered and produced to make this work wonderfully.

21 (Oh Alright) Go On Then.

A slightly obtuse and bitty sound on certain parts of this one (it may be my ears)  but some great hornets nest style Sax work.

22 Johnny Thunders

The 1992 7 inch single that was released on Rough Trade that became a set-list fave extoling ‘C’mon boys quit this town forever!’ Vic always rated the late, great Thunders (RIP) as his guitar playing wove together groups of notes and not just chords and therefore a big step up from the Brit Punk that was displayed at the time which often seemed slightly frustrated and stunted by lack of ability to develop bigger sound ideas in the songs. This tune captures a genuine affection from a golden period in music.

23 Outro With Paul Reekie

Rightfully rounds off a fine, diverse and solid 30 Odd Years double CD collection which is well worth grabbing. Paul Reekie recounts the influence and affect that Vic and Subway Sect had on the Scottish Scene with bands such as Orange Juice, Josef K and The Fire Engines (and the entire Postcard Records sound) openly and proudly doffing their tartan caps in admiration. Maybe we should follow their lead and re-discover the true pioneer spirit that made for brave, risk taking and strong independent thinking with highly original and artful results.

We at eyeplug thank Vic and all of the various allies, musicians and various Subway Sect incarnations who have made these 30 Odd Years so wonderfully Odd, we salute your genuine Ambition.

I’ve been walking along down this shallow slope, Looking for nothing particularly.

Credits (where they are due)

Subway Sect: Bob Ward, Paul Myers, Rob Symmons, Colin Scott, Steve Spartan Atkinson, Johnny Britton, Chris Bostock, Dave Collard, Rob Marche,
Sean McCluskey, Becca Gillieron, Sophie Politowicz, Leigh Curtis, Paul Trigger Williams, Mark Laff, Gary Ainge, Kevin Younger, Mark Braby & Paul Cook
The Black Arabs & Paul and Terry Chimes, Pete Thomas & Jumping Jive, Working Week
The Bitter Springs: Simon Rivers, Dan Ashkenazy, Nick Brown, Paul Wizard Baker, Paul McGrath & Phil Martin
Mates Mates: Andrew Ribas Escandon, Andriu Luc Ma, Luca Ferran Font, Fim Jorbel Errapicas, Erra & Pau Orri Comerma, Pau
The Sexual Objects: Davy Henderson, Douglas Macintyre, Graham Wann, Ian Holford & Simon Smeeton

Vic Godard & Subway Sect

Albums

  • What’s the Matter Boy? (1980), Oddball/MCA
  • Songs For Sale (1982), London
  • Long Term Side-Effect (1998), Tugboat
  • We Come As Aliens (2010), Overground
Compilations
  • A Retrospective (1977-81) (1985), Rough Trade
  • Twenty Odd Years – The Story of… (1999), Motion
  • Singles Anthology (2005), Motion

Singles

  • “Split Up the Money” (1980), Oddball/MCA
  • ‘Stop That Girl’ (1981), Rough Trade
  • ‘Hey Now (I’m in Love)’ (1982), London
  • ‘Johnny Thunders’ (1992), Rough Trade
  • ‘Won’t Turn Back’ (1993), Postcard
  • ‘No Love Now’ (1996), Garcia
  • ‘Place We Used to Love’ (1999), Creeping Bent

Vic Godard

Albums

  • T.R.O.U.B.L.E. (1986), Rough Trade
  • End of the Surrey People (1993), Postcard
  • In T.R.O.U.B.L.E. Again (2002), Tugboat

Singles

  • ‘Stamp On a Vamp’ (1981), Club Left
  • ‘Holiday Hymn’ (1985), El

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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March 14, 2014 By : Category : Front page Indie Picks Post-punk Punk Tags:, , , , ,
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Bob Meyer (Bob’s Folk Show) talks to Eyeplug

01. How did you get started in music?

That’s a hard one!!! Playing music? I was in a band with some friends when I was about 13, I played the drums we were called the Streatham Commoners we never gigged in fact! I can’t remember ever playing any songs! We must have been just one of those mid 70’s experimental garage bands that never made it.

Before that I did have two guitar lessons at school but like most of my school days I properly bunked off the third lesson and being left handed was always a problem as they wanted me to play right handed! The fascist swine’s!!! My older brother has been playing guitar since he was very young so I did play about with his guitar a bit and that’s when I started to play upside down!

Then about ten years later in the mid 80’s I started playing the Blues Harp. But that didn’t last long and I gave up.

Thinking about it I did hang round a rehearsal room and recording studio in Streatham in the late 70’s early 80’s! The Orchestra Pit was under Streatham railway station and my mate’s punk band Dead Clergy rehearsed there most Friday nights so I would go and watch. They were very loud and very punk and that had a big affect on a young me, growing up in dark, dank Thatcher’s London.

Dead Clergy’s guitar player was Les (Fruit Bat) Carter who went on to form Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine so I was hanging round with some real talent at the tender age of 14.

It wasn’t till I was about 33 that I picked up a guitar again when I was round my friend’s house and as usual I picked it up upside down, I played about a bit with it and thought, yes Sir I must buy me a guitar! So the next day I went to Cash Converters on Streatham Hill and bought an old Marlin Classical guitar for £43.00. Then I got a book on “How to play a guitar” turned the book upside down and taught my self some chords! I got bored of that very quickly so I just started messing about with different tunings etc and made the rest up! I still don’t know any chords I still don’t know what notes I’m playing and still can’t play anyone else’s music so as a musician I’m a fraud (laughs).

It must have been with in a few months I had made up enough songs to go and do an open mic in Clapham, Seven years later I had a record deal.

02. Where did your Folk direction stem from?

I don’t think I have any direction at all! I have always been too Blues for the “folk” music fans and to folk for the Blues fans, I just think of what I do as music, if you like it good ,if you don’t there is nothing I can do to make you like it. Too much is made of putting labels on Art and I’m to old to care anymore. (Laughs out loud)

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations?

Bowie, Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, Bjork, Al Bowlly, Kurt Vonnegut, Marcel Duchamp, Dennis Wilson, William Blake, Butthole Surfers and life, love, death and hate.

04. What inspires you to create your current type of songs and you general sound?

To tell you the truth I have had a writers block for about five years, so I’m just punting my old songs around and the fact that I have hardly gigged in the last three years, means it’s like starting over again for me in a way!

05. What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your shows?

A fat old middle-aged man singing and playing the guitar very badly! (laughs to himself) Well I have never really done songs! I much prefer to play straight through without stopping! I have never liked talking to the audiences and this is not some kind of me being cool, I’m just very nervous when I’m playing, I get very bad stage fright and since I stopped getting drunk and doing drugs, it’s worse than ever! So I just like to get on stage play for twenty-five minuets or so say thanks and leave! But when I play and it goes well and I get lost in what I’m doing and I may go to that place where some Artists go when they hit the spot and an audience are getting it and enjoying it, they are the good times. Joe Cushley the renounced music writer, promoter, manager and DJ once said my “playing is like a stream of consciousness”  – I say it’s very well rehearsed improvisation.

06. How do you begin writing your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Not written anything for years and I never had a formula for song writing, it was just sit around have a drink and a smoke and tinker about. Some tunes and lyrics just pop in to my brain and I record them there and then and go back years later and try to remember how to play them.

07. How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

After I started playing the guitar and singing I started playing about with old keyboards and multi-track recorders and any other old junky type of old skool sound making stuff I could get my hands on, my friend described it as ‘soundscapes’. I did a home-made album of this stuff and had one of the tracks was put on a compilation album too. But I soon got bored and went back to just doing gigs with my guitar and my songs.

08. What has been your biggest challenge? How were you able to overcome this?

Not a clue! I don’t look at life like that, if I want to do something I put my heart and soul in to it, if it works I’m happy if it fails I move on.

09. If you could pick any song, what would you like to cover most and why?

I can’t play anyone else music so covering is a bit hard!

10. Tell us about your Radio work?

I did Bob’s Folk Show live on Radio Wey for about three years and after eighteen months it was repeated on Folk Radio UK.

I have been told that the show was one of the best Folk, Roots and Acoustic radio shows in the UK and I certainly had some great live sessions and discovered some great music and some artists (I could now make a list of the great artists who I played first or who played live on my show first, but they know who they are) I only stopped doing the show due to illness in my family and it was getting on my tits being ignored by other “Folk DJ’s”. And I think the straw that broke my back was being ignored by Richard Digance.

I would have gone back to Radio Wey but they would only have me back on their terms and what they wanted from me, I could never do!

I have recently done a pilot show for an FM station in London and I hope to get back on air very soon with Bob Meyer’s Old Time Radio Show playing music mainly from the 1920’s and 30’s, pre-war blues and mountain music, you know the kind of thing. Thinking about if I ever write my life story I could call it “Being Ignored by Richard Digance (ho ho ho).

11. You also are involved in various Events and Promotions?

Yes, I have put on a few gigs and they have been great all of them sold out and everyone said they had a good old time and I put on The London Folk and Roots Festival in 2012 with some good friends and I’m putting it on again this year (2014). In 2012 we put on about thirty acts with Michele from The Magic Numbers heading the bill it was a great day/night. This year there will only be half the acts, but it will be a who’s who of great talent and I really can’t wait.

12. Where do you envisage being in five years time?

Doing my same day job (driving a pickup truck) trying to get a paid job as a radio broadcaster, doing a few gigs here and there and just glad to be alive.

13. Who would you most like to record with?

Bjork.

14. What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

The unexpected (boom! boom!)

Web links
soundcloud.com/bobsfolkshow
bobmeyer.bandcamp.com
twitter.com/13bobmeyer
facebook.com/bobmeyershow

London Folk & Roots Festival 2012
watch-the-london-folk-and-roots-festival-film/

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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February 4, 2014 By : Category : Eyeplugs Features Folk Front page Interviews Picks Tags:, , , ,
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Robert Millar from Qhub talks to Eyeplug

In 2012 Robert Millar bought Q&A software leader Qhub.com which focuses on providing an affordable, easy to use Q&A platform to help businesses and groups better engage with their customers and members. Qhub is now the flagship product in Robert’s e-commerce empire. He also owns a portfolio of residential and commercial real estate properties, which he manages with the help of his wife Masako, while he continues his life-long journey in the Martial Arts.

01. How did you first get started in Business?

Well, I’ve been a entrepreneur for about as long as I can remember. After my first 5 years in Japan in the 80s and 90s I returned to Australia with a head full of dreams and started a small tourism and translation business catering to the many Japanese tourists in my home town of the Gold Coast. Sadly, when Japan’s bubble economy burst in the early 90s my biggest clients went bust and so did I along with them. I later returned to Japan and in 2001 I launched what was to be a very successful IT outsourcing and recruiting agency called Zeros And Ones. For 6 years we served the booming financial and insurance sectors, and at our peak I had a team of 32 awesome employees. In 2007 I sold that company and moved to Australia for a well earned break and to gather my resources for my next mission. In 2011, a few days before the 3.11 earthquake and nuclear disaster, I moved back to Japan again and became an Internet Entrepreneur, buying, building and selling web sites with the help of a superstar offshore team. And finally, in 2012 I bought Qhub.com which is where my current focus and passion lies.

02. Where are you based and why?

I’m based in Tokyo for several reasons, not the least of which is because Japan is a country where you can create anything and learn anything without any fuss. The work ethic here is exemplary, people take a real pride in whatever it is they do, and the attention to detail and service here is second to none. For an online business that basically serves it’s customers 24 hours a day, this environment is perfect, and it allows us to excel in areas where we might struggle if we were based elsewhere. Oh, and my wife’s Japanese. LOL! We do spend a couple of months a year working off-site at at our little beachside apartment on the Gold Coast, too.

03. How has the internet empowered your own business?

When I owned and operated Zeros And Ones back in the early 2000s, outsourcing was all about physically interviewing, hiring and placing people at client sites. It was tough and often frustrating work. Simultaneously managing multiple, often conflicting relationships face-to-face is not for the faint-hearted. But with the ubiquitous nature of the Internet, I can hire better talent, faster, and less expensively. In fact, some of my best team members, who have been with me for years now, I’ve never actually met! But we know each other, and each other’s families, quite well. It’s a brilliant way to do business if you can get the formula right, and without the speed and the tools available on the Internet it just wouldn’t be possible.

04. Can you explain what Qhub is?

Sure. Qhub is Q&A software that makes it really easy to build a vibrant online community. We provide fully featured, beautifully designed community hubs that are easy and fun to use and that allow businesses and groups to really engage and empower their customers and members. Kind of like your own social network, if you will. And we’ve been around since 2004, so we’re pretty well established.

05. What are the main features of Qhub and is it user friendly?

Well, the main “feature” of Qhub actually it’s user friendliness. There are open source Q&A platforms out there, but unless you have a degree in computer science good luck trying to integrate them with your existing web site. With Qhub, you don’t need any code to create a great looking online community, and that’s what busy business people want. The next best feature would be our legendary support. We provide a well populated Q&A knowledge base (which is an actual Qhub of course), in-app customer messaging, in-app walk-through tutorials, and even live chat. Hub owners and members want to learn and communicate via their different channels, so we’ve made that very fast and easy for them. Our response time is first class too. Then there are, of course, a ton of cool software features that Qhub boasts, but you’re probably best off just checking them out at Qhub.com.

06. How can Qhub enhance the online world for small businesses and individuals?

Ok, this is where we really shine. The problem we’ve identified, which happens to be the main problem I encountered with my previous businesses, is that to achieve sustainable, repeatable business, organisations need to engage and empower their customers easily, without having to spend unnecessary time and effort doing so. (That’s posted on the wall above my desk, by the way, so that I never lose sight of our mission to solve it.) So, instead of trying to manage customers via email, which is an overwhelming nightmare, or via publicly available social media, which you never have full control of, imagine a place on your web site, or a stand alone site even, where your team and your customers can help each other out in a logical, uncluttered and elegant way, and where you have effortless control over everything. That place is Qhub.

07. Does Qhub easily integrate into Social Networks?

Yes it does. Hub members can easily share their questions and answers via Twitter and Facebook, right from within their hub, which brings more traffic to their content from those social networks. But what’s even more cool is that you can add your live hub to Facebook as a fully synchronised page. You can see how good that looks on our own Facebook page at www.facebook.com/qhubs

08. Can you show us some Client examples of how Qhub can scale into a successful community for arty types?

Sure. Checkout the Qhub Client Examples page. As you can see on that page Qhub is not just about businesses helping customers. The are community hubs, blogging hubs, travel hubs, music hubs, gaming hubs, you name it! Wherever questions need to be asked, Qhubs will help answer them.

09. What interests you outside of your working day?

Well, I also coach at Japan’s foremost Wing Chun Kung Fu school, headed by my teacher and good friend Master Chien Yen. You can check it out at ChienWingChun.com. I get to use my 30 years of continuous experience in the martial arts to help people from all over the world become stronger and more confident, and that compliments my work at Qhub beautifully.

10. Where do you see the internet going in the future?

I think we’ll see more and more services like ours moving away from the desktop and into the cloud. Given the lower cost of entry, greater easy of staffing, and greater end-user reach that this provides, it only makes sense. Interestingly, not only are cloud-based organisations easier to open and to operate, but they are also easier to on-sell to the bigger players out there. I believe that that’ll become much more prevalent this year and beyond.

11. What is next for the entrepreneur Robert Millar?

Oh, that’s a great question! Ok, don’t laugh, but I’m actually thinking about creating Japan’s first pay-per-minute cafe, where where everything is free except the time you spend there. The fee? Maybe ¥10 per minute which equates to about one good gourmet coffee per hour. Guests would just clock in and clock out with no minimum time. They can munch on the complimentary snacks, or prepare their own food in the kitchen, or just help themselves to free coffee or tea while they surf the Net via super-fast WiFi. I read an article in The Guardian the other day about Ziferblat, London’s first pay-per-minute cafe, and it really intrigued me. We have a few floors of unused space for rent in the little office building we own in Ginza, so I though why not?

12. What type of music, films and art do you favour?

Hmmm… Well, I like anything that is strong, and that crosses boundries. One of the disadvantages of living in Japan is the endless stream of shallow, contrived and talentless music and films that we get inundated with on a daily basis. In contrast, Korn, for example, released an album a couple of years ago titled The Path Of Totality which mixes strong metal guitar riffs with electronic music from the likes of Skrillex, Noisia, and Excision. And it works fantastically! Not everyone’s cup of tea, of course, but I really love this sort of powerful collaboration when it comes off well. Something similar in the film world might be the 2012 film Cloud Atlas with Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant and others, each of whom played multiple characters in the film. It was such a risk to paint the story with such broad and bizarre strokes, across so many different planes of time and space, but it worked incredibly well. And it blew me away! This is the sort of innovation and diversity I crave. A bit like mixing martial arts and software, you might say.

If you want to contact Robert about Qhub, please use the links below.

My Web Links:
Google+ : plus.google.com
Facebook : www.facebook.com/rpmillar
LinkedIn : www.linkedin.com

Qhub’s Web Links :
qhub.com
help.qhub.com (it’s a demo Qhub)
qhub.com/blog

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

More Posts - Website

January 21, 2014 By : Category : Features Front page Interviews Picks Reviews Tags:, ,
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