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Eyeplug talks to Freddie Valentine

01 Some folks may remember you from the golden daze of the Paisley Wheelchair Experience?

Yes, they were quite heady times and it could be a nightmare running a band that sometimes consisted of 15 people! Least of all getting them all in one place or indeed finding a venue that had a stage big enough to house us. We played a LOT of gigs in diverse and strange places including music venues, comedy clubs, art deco theatres and between the mediums at a psychic fayre! It was a fun time and thankfully the jovial events outweighed the stressful ones.

02 Tell us how PWE happened and why you were not detained in suitable secure units at the time?

It was a strange project that grew from humble beginnings. I had tried to get various bands together before that but in the area I lived it seemed that every local musician was into heavy metal, stuff like Metallica, and I’ve never been into that. I did try and put together some bands with these people and force music hall and psychedelic sensibilities upon them but they seemed to think every song should have that stuttured DUH-DA-DUM riff that those kind of groups are so fond of. I even tried to get them to do a version of Seasons In The Sun which just sounded like some godawful death metal dirge but with decent lyrics so I decided to do it all myself and recorded some songs on my home 4-track with a friend of mine called Garrie Baker. They generally contained a lot of in-jokes as we used to attend a spiritualist church and met some eccentric characters and we would put their quotes into song form. For some weird reason a few people liked it and we were offered a gig. We had never played live before but I met a chap called David Mitchell whose band was due to perform at a local music festival but they had left him high and dry so we were offered the slot. As I got on with him I asked him to join us and do a few of his songs too which worked well so we started writing and recording together. Garrie left and we got in a chap called Bart who couldn’t play a note but was funny. He was our ‘keyboard player’. Basically I used to program the songs into the keyboard before the gig and he pressed the appropriate button to start it. We got a reputation for songs like ‘Touched By The Hand of David Icke’ and “Knobby The Tramp” (about a local and much-loved vagrant) and headlined at venues such as the legendary Old Trout in Windsor and flogged quite a few C90 cassettes of home recorded nonsense of varying musical quality. We also caused two mini riots and are banned from a pub in Aylesbury for life! The band developed and became a six piece after we found a manager who seemed to think we might play by the rules and we organised two local music festivals which managed to raise enough money to buy a couple of minibuses for a local centre for disabled people. We also released a 7″ EP called “Sex, Drugs and Frank Bough” which has appeared on eBay and sold for more money than we made off the original release!

After traipsing around the music venues of te south, the band kind of fell apart, so I rebuilt it with a solid plan in place. Around the indie friendly Old Trout, I received a lot of ridicule for openly being into The Carpenters, Mrs Mills, Max Bygraves and 70s easy listening music. This was an era where the done thing was to be into stuff like Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and aspire to be a new age traveller. Being into the yodelling exotica of Frank Ifield was sorely frowned upon. The new Paisleys got bigger and bigger until we had percussionists, a brass section, backing singers and the whole shebang. It was around this time that our song “The Return of Jason King”, came to the attention of the Peter Wyngarde Appreciation Society and of Peter himself. It was released as a limited edition CD through the society with every copied numbered and signed by the man himself. Peter himself owns number 001 and again, it has turned up eBay but I feel the silly amount it went for is more for the autograph of the man who was Jason King rather than the funsome tunes themselves. We latter added an adult size Bubbles the Chimp to the show played by my good friend Barry Maher. More of him later! The band exploded in 2004 and after years of being a parent figure resolving dramas, dealing with tantrums and reassuring people I’d had enough.

03 Before PWE what were you doing and why?

I had a Casio Anarchist band called The Pantwashers and also satantic surrealists called The Neighbourhood Threat. Neither did any gigs and were essentially recording projects we would give to our friends on cassette to see if they were as amused as us.

04 Rolling along to 1996 you develop some of your first Entertainment projects describe that period and process please?

We wanted to put on our own show and I was very much inspired by the music hall and 1970s variety shows. I wanted to put on something that had that element of surprise which was sorely lacking. I found the 90s to be a boring decade where everything became generic, band night, comedy night etc, whole evenings of the same thing. I wanted novelty acts like breakdancing chimps.

05 You developed Cabaret 2000, then The Pina Colada Variety Club which saw us stumble into the 21st Century?

They were both fun shows to do. The band played the part of the “house” act and we would introduce an array of turns who would often join us for a song or two at the end. There’s some footage of these shows somewhere. My favourite guests were the incredibly superb Lenny Beige, one of the best entertainers ever. Steve Furst who plays Lenny is one of the nicest chaps in showbiz and wildly talented. The other act I adored working with was Frank Sidebottom who is a legend. I’d known Chris since the 80s when he was in a band called The Freshies and I called him when we did our first show in Charing Cross Road and asked if he’d like to perform. He was very keen and I was over the moon. He was a joy to work with and incredibly disorganised in and endearing way. He missed his coach on the day and rang me asking if we could pay his train fare down. Of course we did, it’s Frank Sidebottom! On arrival his keyboard wasn’t working so our trombone player, Duncan, popped over the road and got his some batteries and it just about worked. During his set, whilst performing a version of ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ in his inimitable style, the keyboard conked out so he threw it across the stage and booted Little Frank’s head into the audience as if it were a football and carried on regardless. He delivers an amazing show and duetted with me and the band with a version of The Candy Man. One of the best moments of my life! Our roadie, Jerry, has the Little Frank head from this show!

06 You then reveal the The Freddie Valentine Variety Show which had a nice warm run?

We ran this show at the Battersea Barge and then a venue called The Inn On The Green in Ladbroke Grove. We had more structure to this show and had slots for comedians, burlesque acts, magicians etc just like you would see in a 70s tv variety show. This was the time that I was performing the outrageous musical comedy act with Barry Maher and much of the content in these shows derived from that. For the Inn On The Green shows we had The Silhouettes and The Adventures of Parsley as our house/backing band. We partially did our own shows because we were outcasts on the traditional comedy circuit. Much of that scene is derivative with many acts being interchangeable. We used to shock and offend a lot of people with our Benny Hill/Stanley Baxter antics which was a world away from the Bill Hicks wannabes and wry tales about themselves. On our own show we could do what we want, which is a dangerous thing when it’s given to people like myself and Barry Maher who liked to see what we could get away with. I remember a burlesque promoter saying to me that there wasn’t many male burlesque acts and would I consider doing one for a laugh. Now, my “for a laugh” is a lot different to most people’s and we devised a burlesque act which was designed to see what reaction it would get. Barry would perform it in our show with his wife, Pauline – great friend of ours, singing ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’. Barry provided some funky moves with a beard, Afro and Ill-fitting 1970s suit as ‘Peter Sutcliffe – The Yorkshire Stripper’ which managed to achieve the 50/50 ratio of laughter and revulsion. Job done!

07 What types themes do you embrace within your music, art, comedy and performance?

What I do is non-political and I never try and make any social point. Silliness and surrealism are lacking these days and I often do things to amuse myself or produce the sort I things I would enjoy watching or listening to. If other people like it then it’s a bonus but I could never do anything just for the money or if my heart isn’t it. I remember going to a lot of cabaret shows in the 70s and they always left you with a glowing feeling of escapism and upliftment. That’s what I’m aiming for.

08 There is a healthy interest in the darker side of life?

I’ve always been interested in things like ghosts and witchcraft. I co present a podcast called The Mystic Menagerie which focuses on some spooky subjects. On one show, we had occult author S Rob conduct a live summoning of shadow people which I think is a first and we’ve had supernatural chats with guests such as Reece Shearsmith and Right Said Fred. Doing this along with the cabaret keeps my ying and yang in check.

09 You are a keen Tarot Reader and arrange ghost walks and even Seances, isn’t that rather dangerous?

We take precautions and everything is done safely though people can become very scared so we warn they attend at their own risk! We have had some hair raising things happen on these nights including a daylight apparition on the ghost walk! I also exhibit a museum of oddities including a shrunken head and a Victorian vampire hunting kit which has been featured on Japanese TV and in Fate & Fortune magazine (Take A Break’s paranormal spin off).

10 Tell us out here in bland-land all about The Karnival of Kitsch and why we should all be there in support?

The Karnival of Kitsch is show Holly and I run a few times a year at the Vauxhall Tavern. It’s like the Donny & Marie show with yodelling. We book acts that we personally like and try it make it as escapist as possible. It’s a spangly, retro night out which is completely without irony. Someone described it as being like Butlins ballroom in 1976. Though I’d say it’s a bit Pontins in its heyday! We’ve had some great acts on – Lenny Beige, Lorraine Bowen, Phillip Jeays – and love doing it. We also put on shows at the RVT’s fringe. The first was a musical chat show and we interviewed Jonathan Kydd from Pipkins abs the lovely Francoise Pascal from Mind Your Language. We’ve also put on Disney and Bacharach & David themed shows but inexplicably our James Bond cabaret night – From Vauxhall With Love – was the most successful!

11 How does Holly re-act to your traditional Yodelling skills? Does she partake also?

Holly is a very fine jazz singer and doesn’t share my passion for alpine expression. My nan was friends with the legendary 1960s singer, Frank Ifield, and her spare room had a plaque on the wall saying “Frank Ifield stayed here”. Which he did! When he came to the uk she put him up. That’s where I think the yodelling obsession stemmed from.

12 Tell us about your LP from 2004, can folks still but a copy?

It was called “An Intimate Evening With” and was the catalyst for my most outrageous shows so far. The band split in 2004 with a lot of drama going on but I was still very friendly with the sax player, Henry Crud who a multi instrumentalist. He asked me if I wanted to do an album with him and I came up with some lyrical ideas and he wrote music to match. They were cheesy, poppy songs with offensive lyrics. We recorded loads around that time, much of which never saw the light of day including a five volume project of comedy characters talking over odd music called ‘Jazz Juice’. Barry Chester, who you may recall played Bubbles the Chimp in the PWE, loved the album and said we should do it live with him playing the characters in the songs so Henry prepared backing tracks and off we went to comedy clubs to shock and repulse politically correct folk on a night out.

Two songs that caused the strongest reaction (both with laughter and shock) were Sheila and our tribute to Gilbert & George. Sheila was a love song about a young man who is in love with an octogenarian and we tried to find as many things that rhymed with Sheila such as ‘she was no wheeler dealer/ looked better than Christine Keeler/She stole my potato peeler/ but that’s fine’. For the live version, Barry played a randy old lady that was reminiscent of Les Dawson and Monty Python’s drag characters and as the song started, Sheila would walk through the back of the audience and start dusting tables as if she was a cleaner and would subtly flirt with men seated there and get raunchier until it was a personal space invading lap dance. As we liked to throw in the unexpected, Sheila had a few trump cards. Pauline had a fake… ahem… lady’s part, the type that is used by transvestites and looks incredibly realistic. The audience were astonished when Sheila removed her knickers as this was not they expected. For the finale, Sheila had finally made it to the stage and pretends to fellate me whilst I’m singing. Barry would conceal one of those small sachets of mayonnaise that you get in chip shops, in his hand and smear it over his face. The song ended with him turning to face to the audience which got quite a reaction!

Gilbert & George are amongst my favourite artists and they’re known for using bodily fluids (and solids) in their work and the song was about going to visit them at home and, despite them being in the middle of one of their more extreme pieces of art, serve up a nice cup of tea. The live version actually made a man vomit. Barry would play an amalgamation of both Gilbert and George and the stage would be set up with an easel and Pauline posing on a stool as a nude model. Barry would then produce a fake phallus from his trousers filled with Apple Tango (it looks the most like urine) and pretend to pee in a tea cup which he offered to the audience who always refused so he drank it himself. By now, you’re getting the drift that this is American style “gross out” humour mixed with good old British lavatorial japes. Barry would then pull down his trousers and pants and pretend to defecate into a babies potty which was filled with chocolate angel delight. He’d try a bit, nod in approval and then again offer it to the audience. This is all happening whilst I’m singing a three minute song. Barry would then get a brush and do a “poo painting” which was handed to a lucky audience member at the songs conclusion.

One gig was a party at an art gallery and there was no stage as such so we used a bucket rather than a potty which was filled with the ever faithful Apple tango and some Picnic bars which, after extensive research, turned out to be the most realistic when trying to portray freshly produced human excitement. When Barry showed an audience member the bucket, after eating one of the Picnic bars, this chap too one look into, went pale and vomited and then screamed ‘these weirdos are using real shit!!!’.

13 You have found a spiritual cave in the Vauxhall Tavern somewhat? What other Venues do you love and hate?

The RVT is a wonderful place. Very rarely do you find somewhere that is focused on the arts rather than selling drinks. The people that run it and work there are very helpful and lovely people and it has a vibe unlike anywhere else. I used to enjoy playing at Madame Jojos when it was still active. I have played some awful places which is usually the fault of those running it rather than the building itself.

14 What are your thoughts on the modern Comedy circuit and Industry?

I find it incredibly dull and little interests me these days. Rather than it being a hotbed or creativity, it’s become a standard career option filled with people who have been on comedy courses and have the same delivery. There are no Mavericks as people don’t want to offend, want to make some kind of point or political statement and see it all as a career move. It’s all become very cliched and there’s little room for lunatics. Not many are prepared to make a fool of themselves and think they’re rock stars.

15 Who are your heroes and zeroes?

Music: my taste is very diverse and I tend to like most stuff but a few heroes are Frank Zappa, Adam Ant, Frank Ifield, Mrs Mills, Brian Wilson, Sparks, Bowie, Queen, The Cheeky Girls, Scott Walker. I also love yodelling music, pop reggae and 1970s library music. And a lot more besides. My zeroes are the insipid people producing music with no imagination or artistry of whom there are too many to mention these days.

Actors: my favourite actor of all time is Charles Hawtrey. I can’t stand the modern Hollywood ‘mumbling or shouting’ types.

Comedy: my comedic heroes are Benny Hill, Stanley Baxter, Kenneth Williams and the Two Ronnies. I detest Noel Fielding,Mrs Brown’s Boys, Russell Brand and studenty types who harp on about politics.

16 What have you got planned for 2016 and beyond?

I’m planning more Karnival of Kitsch shows, podcasts and paranormal events and there is something planned for 2017 which i can’t reveal too much about at the moment but will be amazing if we can get the funding!

17 What have been the challenges and triumps over the years of tireless creativity and craft?

It’s hard being a square peg in a round hole and if you do something completely different it’s hard to get people to understand it at first. Not the audience, people in the industry. You have to decide – shall I do something bland and unmemorable and treat it as a job or something true to myself and struggle?

18 Who do you rate in the current Entertainment world?

A few great entertainers of today: Bob Downe, Simon Day, Citizen Khan, Reece Shearsmith. Lenny Beige, Steve Coogan, and The Lovely Eggs.

19 Who would you most like to work with?

I’d love to write a progressive-surf opera with Brian Wilson.

20 With your Retro influences, do ‘generation text’ sorta get it?

They don’t get some of the references but find the look and my dance moves funny. It think they’re used to overly serious comedy and having been exposed to silliness or someone who’s prepared to make a complete buffoon of themselves. When I was younger I used to win disco dancing competitions. I learnt all my moves from an LP which had a fold out floor mat showing you where to put your feet. It was called something like ‘Dance Like John Travolta’. I later went to disco dancing lessons and the teacher was a medallion man much like the Kirk St Moritz character from the sitcom ‘Dear John’. His sage like advice was ‘if you want the ladies to look at you, you can move your arms as much as you like but you MUST keep them below your shoulders. If your hands go above your shoulders then you’re suddenly Marc Almond.’ It’s advice that’s served me well.

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 17, 2016 By : Category : Cult Culture Eyeplugs Front page Humour Interviews Kitsch Music Tags:, ,
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Blue Mink – LP Review

The Singles Collection – Blue Mink (Glam CD 124)

Take yourself back to the early 1970’s, to an age when the big noise was the humble pop song, whether shrieking out of a tiny transistor radio or blaring out of a bruiser of a record player. The better-selling LP was the older, less fashionable brother’s format, but the 7’’ single still had near-totemic power over the nation’s nation’s pop kids, who were staring at the posters on their walls, and happily enjoying this subculture, to the amusement – or more likely, the complete incomprehension – of their parents.

As Britain’s rock acts became ever more LP-orientated, the Top 30 (see glossary for these archaic terms) soon filled with a great variety of light rock, MOR and honest-to-goodness, well-crafted pop. The latter was perfectly exemplified in the talented team of Blue Mink. Basically a conglomerate of long-experienced session players, singers and pop craftsmen, their respectable string of hits from ’69-’74 are all collected on this neat CD, with the welcome addition of some of their less successful output.

‘Melting Pot’s simple and honest plea for racial understanding may sound a little patronising these days, but this Roger Cook-Roger Greenaway ditty was minted at a time when racially bigoted attitudes were common currency. The vocal duo of Roger Cook and Madeline Bell delivered the lines with a gentle touch, and the song peaked at No 3.

‘Good Morning Freedom’s bright, wide-awake start couldn’t fail, with its rolling piano and Gospel tinged harmonies, and managed a No 10 for this rangy group. A stab at the eco-protest song with ‘Our World’ followed, opening with doomy chords, but soon slipping into the shared vocals of Madeline Bell and Roger Cook and a rousing, hopeful chorus. Although not as successful as the previous two singles, it still sold enough to matter.

‘Time for Winning’s failure to chart proved an early set back, in spite of its use in film ‘The Raging Moon’, but the band were soon back on top with the schmaltzy Salvation Army march, ‘The Banner Man’. Their most successful single and a global hit, and Madeline Bell’s voice is as honeyed as ever, I bet you still remember the words.

‘Sunday’s bluegrass feel was a departure from their usual fare, but despite its lazy, summery beat and drawling vocals, it met with no success, and it looked like Blue Mink had peaked early. ‘Count Me In’s creeping intro, a little reminiscent of Three Dog Night’s ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come’, suits this further slice of protest pop, with some finely orchestrated backing and heartfelt vocals.

‘Wacky Wacky Wacky’s jolly tune and nonsensical lyrics mask a song of longing that still didn’t work its magic for a chart placing. Fans of stoner humour will no doubt appreciate some of the song’s cultural references, ‘Stay with Me’s smoochy ballad, with a simple backing and fine, blended vocals saw the band back in the Top 20, in amongst the first stirrings of glam rock.

The Gaelic lick and ‘join in’ vocals of ‘By the Devil I Was Tempted’ show the band’s strengths well and this simple, almost stereotypical Gospel song propelled them to a fairly respectable Top 30 position. Their final hit, a Top 10-er at that, would be the pub singalong, ‘Randy’, with its tinkling piano, choppy guitar and celebratory vocal, about a whimsical, carefree character, all so common in those far-off days of virtual full employment and endless possibilities for the young.

‘Quackers’ silly instrumental may try the patience a little, but ‘Get Up’s jaunty piano and funky beat proves more palatable, with its essential countdown and expert vocalising. ‘Another Without You Day’ tugs at the heartstrings, with its pastoral guitars and gentle vocals, hinting that the well wasn’t quite dry yet. Ironically, the single didn’t get released until after the band had called it a day.

‘You’re The One’ marked a belated return for the band in 1976, although this chugger, faintly reminiscent of The Captain and Tenille’s ‘Love will Keep Us Together’, also failed to pay dividends. ‘Five Minute Wonder’s stab at disco is enjoyable enough, but their take on this hugely popular genre didn’t garner any chart action. ‘Where Were You Today’ seemed a return to the jauntier rhythms they were so fond of, but a rival version of the song by its co-writer, David Dundas, was released at the same time. Neither version met with success, and Blue Mink laid down their instruments for the last time.

Scenester 30/6/15

Scensters’ Useful Glossary:

Transistor radio: Ingenious, inexpensive device from Japan, giving th’ kids access to a world of pop perfection via the medium of the airwaves. As ubiquitous as the mobile phone today, no possibility of cyber-bullying and no ridiculous contract amount to pay each month.

Record player: Heavy, wooden box with cast iron arm and spinning platter on which to play your singles and LPs. Design basically unchanged since Victorian times, except for electrical propulsion.

7’’ single: A disk of vinyl plastic inscribed with a spiral groove, with enough room for one shot of pure musical heaven, and a rather dodgy support song on the other side.

LP: Long playing disk of vinyl plastic, the big bro’ of the above, with enough room for about twenty minutes’ worth each side of potential singles (if you were lucky) or sheer self-indulgent clod-hoppery (if you weren’t).

7’’ singles and LPs were also both known, confusingly, as ‘records’, as if something generated by the National Archive.

Top 30: Allegedly the 30 singles which garnered the highest sales that particular week. Cynics suggested it was more to do with offers of bungs and sexual favours and the pop world’s equivalent of the Old Boy’s Network, which placed a single in the higher reaches of the Top 30.

‘Hit’: A record which succeeded in reaching the ‘charts’. Stretching the definition, a ‘Hit’ could be Top 20, Top 30, or Top 40, depending on whether you were a pop fan or a record label skivvy.

‘MOR’: Middle of the Road, a stereotypical song or act. Often wildly successful viz the late great James Last.

 

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 3, 2015 By : Category : Classic Front page Glam Music Reviews Soul Tags:, , , , , ,
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Showplug: Rayguns Look Real Enough@The Legion

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Showplugs

Rayguns Look Real Enough, the world’s greatest mash-up band. Comprised of two members Ray Gunn (Ryan Beange) and Luke Reel (Matt Blair). This unique double act gig across the country in the UK’s top Comedy and Cabaret venues and clubs. Recently shortlisted in the London Cabaret Awards and are preparing for their 2014 Edinburgh Fringe show – Hall Of Fame. “Insanely funny!” – This is Cabaret, “A huge hit!” – The Sun.

01. How did your band get together?

Ryan: Through the comedy circuit.

02. Where did your name come from?

Ryan: Sgt Al Powell in Die Hard
Matt: A wise man

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations?

Ryan: In the words of Matthew McConaughey – “Me in 10 years time”
Matt: Our music is not influenced by a 50 year old Matthew McConaughey

04. What drove you to make music together?

Ryan: The fear of a real job.

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

Ryan: All the hits, some kickass guitar playing and a sparkly groin very close up in your face.
Matt: Also jokes.

06. Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Matt: We let other people write the songs. We just make them better.
Ryan: We just choose the best bits of the hits and make new songs with them. Because our music is mash-ups there aren’t always subject matters but we do have some themes like money.

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

Ryan: We use a wider selection of songs now, more complex harmonies and we try to look for comedy that we can bring out within the music.
Matt: Ryan definitely listens more metal since we started playing together.

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

Ryan: The height of Luke Reels hair. It kept flopping over. We overcame it with silvikrin and a hairdryer.
Matt: It’s not a pre-show ritual I expected to have when I begun a music career.

09. Does the band play covers? If so, do you argue over the choice of songs? Who usually gets his own way?

Ryan: Ray Gunn will normally stamp his tiger feet and have a little diva fit when he doesn’t get his own way but normally it’s plain sailing.

10. What do you love and hate outside of music?

Ryan: Love: Palm trees, and fine wine. Hate: traffic jams and bad coffee
Matt: Love: Science-Fiction, Hate: Wasps

11. Who would you most like to record with?

Ryan: The Rolling Metallica Bowies.
Matt: Nice. I’d buy that album.

12. What should we be expecting from the band in the near future?

Ryan: A brand new Edinburgh show to blow your minds.
Matt: It’s called Hall of Fame and it will be at the Voodoo Rooms throughout August.

Rayguns Look Real Enough are playing @ the Royal British Legion in Swanage, Dorset on Sat the 29th of March

For more details & to purchase ticket go HERE!

Web links:

raygunslookrealenough.com
twitter.com/RealRaygun
facebook.com/pages/Rayguns-look-Real-Enough

Dave Showplug Taylor

Dave Showplug Taylor is owner of Showplug Promotions, a man who makes things happen, loves providing great affordable quality Events, Gigs, Shows, Comedy Plugs and great all around Entertainment. Works closely alongside Eyeplug Media and lives by the Sea with his Family. Loves the MC5 and Cold Beer.

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March 14, 2014 By : Category : Exotica Front page Humour Interviews Music Pop Showplug Tags:, , , , ,
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Showplug: Jessica Fostekew@The Legion

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Showplugs

Jess spends the year performing full sets at all the UK’s major clubs: Late n’ Live, Up The Creek, The Stand, Komedia, Banana Cabaret, The Bearcat, BBC Presents, Jongleurs, Highlight, Downstairs at the Kings Head and The Comedy Club Ltd, as well as squillions of others.

A writer on Channel 4’s Stand Up For the Week and on BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show, News Quiz and Newsjack, Jess is developing various TV pilots, a number of shorts and is writing for other (big name) comedians and comedy actors.

01. How did you get started in comedy?

I’d done a hilariously expensive law degree that I was keen to really waste.

02. Where did your direction come from?

This question doesn’t make any grammatical sense, so I’m going to shoot in the dark and go for either A) a father who combined a great sense of humour with a constant disappointment in me B) a conscientious nature and/ or C) ‘South West’

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations?

The League of Gentlemen, The Day Today and Vera Drake.

04. What inspires you to write your current material?

How much material all the other comedians are writing.

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

Jokes in a row, stories full of jokes in rows. A variety of silly voices and movements. Some innovation. Might learn a bit. Absolutely no maths. It’s maths-free comedy.

06. What about heckling, how do you you deal with that?

The word ‘heckle’ originally meant a comb or flax and would be someone’s job to use these on sheep, to get the wool ready for when they are shorn and that person was called a ‘heckler. In Dundee in the 14th C when agricultural working conditions were in decline these hecklers piped up about it all the time to local officials, always shouting at them whenever they could, to get better pay and shorter hours. They gained a reputation for being the most vocal of the agricultural work force and by the mid 17th C ‘heckling’ had come to mean any shouting out or contrived vocal disruption. So with that etymology in mind, now when I’m on stage and someone heckles all I hear in my head is a wee little Scottish voice squealing “I want the world to know that I am a lamb’s hairdresser and in my life there is a lot of room for improvement”

07.How has your comedy style evolved since you first began performing?

It’s taller, but also hairier.

08.What has been the biggest audience you have played too? Was the experience exciting or scary?

600 and yes very scary and very exciting. Both. Like a horror film.

09. What stands out as the worst gig of your career and why?

Comedy Store, 2009. I wasn’t funny and also I’d dressed up too much and was all uncomfortable. And my Mum was there. I played to piteous titters and then got a heckle that rather than dealing with in a funny way I simply stopped talking and just stood there in silence, visibly letting it hurt me. Then a technician backstage told me she found my deep voice confusing and that I should get rid of it. I explained it was just my voice and if I didn’t use it I wouldn’t be being me and she said “it would be better though.” Then I cried just as I walked into a couple of agents there to see me but never spoke to me since and my Mum has begged me ever since to become a teacher because she worries that choosing to be a stand up as a career is essentially condemning yourself to a lifetime of severe psychological self-harm. Ha ha ha. Ahhh.

10. Any current comedians or acts that you feel seem to be producing the goods?

Absolutely loads, I will invariably miss people and I’m not even going to bother listing any famouses but acts you might not have heard of yet who I think are stunning funny and you will hopefuly have done at some point/ ought to google/ follow etc. include: Amir Koshakan, Hal Branson, Bobby Mair, Mick Ferry, Twayna Mayne, Danny Ward,oh, there’s loads.

11. Who would be the partner of your choice if you had to be a double act? Living or dead allowed.

Dawn French. She fills my heart with joy.

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

I’m being the narrator of a new Sky documentary this summer called ‘Nine Months Later’. I’m taking a new work-in-progress show to the Edinburgh festival this year called ‘The Something And The Apoplexy’. I’m in the cast of an amazing big show called ‘Knightmare Live’, based on the show which was on tv in the 90s, that’s doing a mini-tour in June, then Edinburgh festival, then a more proper tour in autumn. Stuff about that is here: www.knightmarelive.com and I’m gigging most nights of the week with just normal stand up somewhere or other, see my links below.

I am the MC for Comedy Plug @ The Legion in Swanage on Saturday the 29th of March, the headliners are Rayguns Look Real Enough and support from Alfie Brown & Rich Wilson. It promises to be a great night. For more details & to purchase tickets go to Showplug Events HERE!

Links:

www.jessicafostekew.com
facebook.com/jessicafostekew
twitter.com/jessicafostekew

Dave Showplug Taylor

Dave Showplug Taylor is owner of Showplug Promotions, a man who makes things happen, loves providing great affordable quality Events, Gigs, Shows, Comedy Plugs and great all around Entertainment. Works closely alongside Eyeplug Media and lives by the Sea with his Family. Loves the MC5 and Cold Beer.

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February 5, 2014 By : Category : Events Front page Humour Interviews Showplug Tags:, , , , ,
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Dave Taylor talks to Eyeplug

01 How did you first get interested in Promoting?

I was actually asked if I wanted to run a club night by the Mean Fiddler organisation. I had been filming bands with a mate and had put out a video fanzine featuring bands like The Buzzcocks, These Animal Men and other acts from the NWONW scene (the one just before Brit Pop). I suppose we were being seen at loads of happening events and a vacancy for a night at The Powerhaus in Islington had arisen. A friend who was working at One Little Indian put our name forward and that’s where it all started. We just called a few mates up who were in bands, booked them and tried to get the bands we liked watching to come to us. Our first night featured The Flying Medallions supported by Sexton Ming & his Diamond Gussets. It was mental! A video was filmed at the event which was shown on MTV. Check it out here!

02 What are you main Musical and Cultural influences?

I was force fed Jazz as a kid and still struggle to come to terms with it to this day. The only artists that my parents used to listen to that I could tolerate were Simon & Garfunkel and Johnny Cash.

I remember asking my Dad to buy me a Johnny Cash album from a shop in Southend when I was about 5 and I played it to death on an old turntable that he gave me for my bedroom. Other singles I remember owning as a kid were ‘Popcorn’ by Hot Butter and ‘Tiger feet’ by Mud.

Punk though, got me hooked on music. I borrowed ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ when it came out from a mate whose older brother had it. I just thought the swearing was funny and didn’t really get into it at the time (I was 11 in 1977), but I suppose by 1979 I was seriously getting into music and buying the occasional record with money earned from a paper round. The first gigs I went to were Stiff Little Fingers at The Rainbow and The Damned at The Lyceum. If I went without school dinners for a week I could buy a gig ticket with the money I saved. Travel cards were only 40p then and most Saturdays I would visit the Rainbow, Hammersmith Odeon & the Palais or the Lyceum to buy tickets for up and coming gigs and then head down to Portabello Road to buy bootlegs and records from a stall outside Honest Johns. I still get a buzz every time I discover a great band wether it be at a gig or on record.

Cultural influences have to be pop artists. I have a few Jamie Reid prints on the wall indoors. Whenever a big name like Warhol or Lichtenstein is being exhibited I try and go.

03 What types of Events have you put on in the past?

Mainly bands and comedians but also theatre, burlesque, cabaret, magic. Most of these in pubs & clubs but have done a few boat gigs on The Thames which have been great fun. I hardly ever put on an act I don’t like myself and have had the pleasure to promote some of my favourite live acts such as Earl Brutus and The Damned. I once booked a mini tour of pub circuit venues for Harry Hill & The Caterers which were great nights combining music and comedy. Harry Hill is a one off and would love him to come and play a Showplug event. I will keep asking! Enjoy a clip from one of my past shows here.

04 What types of Venues have you been involved with over the years?

I have been lucky enough to be involved with prestige shows at the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and other major nationwide venues, have DJ’d at Brixton Academy on a number of occasions, and have worked at venues such as the Borderline, 100 Club, Astoria and LA2 and loads of other London Clubs. I also promoted music and comedy at a pub venue in Tooting before retiring form the game for a few years for health reasons.

05 You have been involved with some well known Comedy Events too?

I picked up some work as the regular weekend DJ at the Cosmic Comedy Club in Fulham which is where I started to get to know a few acts. When that club closed in 2000, I went to a pub in Tooting that had a barely used function room and asked if they were interested in letting me use it at weekend to promote music and comedy. I continued to work with the booker of the Cosmic who between us managed to secure me shows by little known at the time Mickey Flanagan, Dara O’Briain, Russell Howard, Andy Parsons, Rhodes Gilbert to name a few. We even worked together booking the shows for Swanage my adopted home Town, so I’m sure we will be seeing some major names of the future appearing at our local venue for Showplug via Comedy Plug. I am working alongside some of you folks at Eyeplug as you have worked out by now 🙂

I also did the occasional gigs as Tour manager with Avalon and got to work with some fantastic acts such as Al Murray, Harry Hill, Richard Herring and Dave Gorman who were all fantastic to work with and I learnt a lot about putting on a show from all of them.

06 What have been the highs and lows of your Promotional Career?

I suppose when I was asked to DJ for Roxy Music’s end of World Tour was a bit of a highlight. When I turned up with loads of glam rock to play with Bryan Ferry wanting to hear loads of Sister Sledge and disco was a low light! I remember being asked to put the same record on again because Bryan had liked it, which to everyone in the room no doubt sounded terrible but I guess he was paying!

I suppose putting on the first Darkness gig where Justin donned a catsuit was memorable? MTV had come down to film that night but the pub landlord made them erase the tape as they had not asked permission beforehand! That footage would have gone global a few months later when they were massive! Also DJ’d alongside Bazden from Pip! Pip! at our early Darkness shows. They use to amaze the audience with their mad rock operatics in such tiny venues! Priceless! You can also see my Harry Hill unseen video on this page which is well worth a look!

When you only try and book bands that you really like, you don’t have too many lows. I have been lucky in that respect.

07 You have been developing a new venture called Showplug, can you tell us about it?

Showplug is a new venture between myself and some of you folks at Eyeplug. We used to work together about 10 years ago, went our separate ways but recently started talking again and believe that between us we can start putting on diverse, quality events at affordable prices, eventually nationwide. We invite bands that can pull a decent crowd to get in touch and are pretty open minded, although we seldom put on shows with folks that we do not dig!

08 Where can folks catch your current Shows?

We are based at The Legion in Swanage. The venue is great and is retro chic! Barry Asworth of the Dub Pistols walked in and said ‘Fuck me this is old school! We are going to have a right laugh tonight!’ The acts that perform here appreciate the uniqueness of the venue and all seem to want a return booking. It reminds me of the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club but by the Seaside! It is a real community venue that serves all ages and needs.

09 What Events have you got planned for 2014?

A full and varied program! Regular Film Plug and DJ nights. Live Plug for bands and Comedy Plug for (believe it or not) comedy. Sometimes even Comedy bands. We have spoken word shows, a thing called PID (Purbeck Island Discs), we have Sports and TV personalities, Book launches, film screenings, and much more. check the website and join the mailing list here to be kept up to date on all Showplug stuff and to simply get in touch if you think you deserve a Show.

10 If Bands, Acts and Entertainers are looking in, how can they get in contact to maybe get a Booking?

I generally only book acts that I have seen live and believe that others would also be prepared to pay money to see. Saying that though, I do have certain friends whose opinion I trust and would book an act on their referral. If you are a comedian, unless we have an open mic night it is all booked via the Cosmic Agency so mayeb contact them instead.

Should you have a band/show etc please email me via the Showplug website . I will try and come to one of your shows and if I like what I see, then we take it from there. Please send as many details as possible if you are really keen, where you have played, who with, youtube clips etc. I am not interested in booking any tribute acts though so even if you are the best Elton John tribute act in the World I am not interested! Original acts only please!

11 How do you view the current Entertainment Industry around the nation?

It’s changing. People do not have a lot of money these days, so need to get value when they go out for a night. Saying that though, the live scene is quite healthy. people seem to download or stream free music but then pay out to see a live band when they are in town. Comedy clubs seem to be closing though with big names like Jongleurs going out of business and allegedly getting a reputation for not paying acts. A few years ago, comedy was supposedly the new rock‘n’roll, but TV companies have put so much on the idiot box that people stay in instead of going out to live events. We have to make our shows the best we possibly can for the budgets available in the hope that customers have a fantastic night and then keep returning. Comedy in Swanage now has a great reputation on the circuit for being well run and an enjoyable place to come and visit too. If we continue along the same path, I’m sure we will have a club that continues for many years? We  will also develop into other venues, we aim to expand at just the correct pace, region by region – so please get in touch if you want to work with us mutually on a Showplug project.

12 Can you tell us a decent Joke?

Not at all. Come to our Comedy Plug night on the 29th March and hear the professionals tell them. Trust me, it will be a lot better!

* Dave Showplug Taylor joins Eyeplug as an author, with a special exclusive series of interviews with all of his up and coming Artists. Welcome aboard Dave!

Weblinks

Showplug.net

Facebook Page

 

 

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 14, 2014 By : Category : Eyeplugs Features Front page Gigs Humour Interviews Nightlife Tags:,
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Nick Churchill talks to Daniel Bye

How much is beauty worth? What will people pay for an air guitar on eBay? Can I have a glass of milk?

These urgent questions – and many more besides – are answered in The Price of Everything, a performance lecture/stand-up storytelling show about value.

Self-styled ‘theatre maker’
 Daniel Bye has trained with French master clown Philippe Gaulier, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre Studio; he is an Associate Artist of ARC in Stockton-on-Tees and lecturer in Theatre at the University of Bedfordshire.

He’s also fascinated by how and why we have to measure everything in money. The Price of Everything is provocatively funny, ever so slightly interactive and just a tiny bit sad.

Daniel, what price do we have to pay to see the show?

I believe it’s a tenner. I’m particularly excited when venues are able to offer the show as pay-what-you-can, as it ties in so deeply with what the show’s about. But the financial climate (that again) sadly means that isn’t often possible.

Is the price we pay the same as what it costs us?

Only if you’re measuring cost in money. It also costs you: an hour, your attention, whatever number of calories you have to pay to sit upright throughout that time, and probably a handful of other things I can’t think of.

And is that the same as its value?

Again, only if you’re measuring value in money. If you’re firmly committed to the idea that there are absolutely no other possible ways of measuring value than in pounds and pence, then you probably shouldn’t come and see the show.

Why do you think we like to quantify things?

We’ve learned that it’s necessary. But actually, we’re not very good at it. Most of the time we do it very vaguely. One of the things I think people enjoy about the show is that quantifying things as precisely as I do here is really absurd.

What is the audience going to see when you perform The Price of Everything?

Me talking. Each other laughing. Some slides. A lot of milk.

How did you arrive at the concept and then the content of The Price of Everything?

I’ve long been fascinated by the creepy way in which economics has colonised all of our brains. The only admissible arguments in public policy these days seem to be the economic ones. We’ve lost all ability to value things in any other way. Attempts to express other value systems are met with cynicism, or patronisation. What about that wouldn’t make for a comedy show?

As to the content, almost all of it was developed out of a series of conversations between me and the show’s director, Dick Bonham. Every so often I’d say something funny or interesting, and Dick would say, ‘you should put that in the show’. The other 99% of what I said has been lost to history.

Why a glass of milk?

It’s good for you.

Your pieces certainly comprise social comment, sometimes with an overtly political message, but seem to be about people first and foremost, what draws you to that territory?

I can’t think of a more pressing subject than who we are and how we choose to structure the society in which we live together. When I do, or when I decide Sellotape is that subject, look out for lots of shows about parcels.

In your opinion, is politically engaged theatre/music/art/film/comedy etc finding its audience and hitting its target effectively?

Honestly, probably not in most cases. I think audiences find it pretty hard to imagine that politically driven work is really going to be any fun, and in many cases they’re proven right. I also think that talk of ‘targets’ is, if you’ll forgive the pun, off the mark.

For me, politically effective theatre isn’t about shooting things or people down (although there might be a little of that along the way). For me, the most important thing is finding ways to acknowledge that actually, it’s up to us, the people gathered to consider this stuff. Nobody’s going to change the world for us.

But as, so far, my theatre work has failed to either bring down capitalism or put an end to global warming, I suppose I’d have to admit the jury’s still out.

Do you see your job as being to ask questions or provide answers, or neither?

Mostly questions. But if I’ve got ideas, I’m not going to pretend I haven’t in the interest of some imaginary ‘balance’. That would just be a way of my loading the dice. Even then though I suppose I’m not so much providing answers as suggesting some in the form of a question, I suppose. ‘This is what I think. Do you agree?’

Your work has been very highly praised by some very august publications do you feel any pressure as a result of being called ‘genius’, ‘near perfect’ and, as you say, even ‘intelligent’?

I wasn’t until you mentioned it…

You describe yourself as a ‘theatre maker’, what does that mean?

I don’t create the work by sitting down at my desk and writing it down in advance of rehearsals. It’s created on the rehearsal room floor. I suppose it’s a way of reflecting that the work happens in three dimensions, live, just like the way it is made; it’s not created in abstract in advance.

What’s next for Daniel Bye?

My newest show, How to Occupy an Oil Rig, is just about to go out on tour. And I’m creating a series of walking tours called Story Hunt in various different towns and cities over the summer – each of them is a tour of the things in that town that are no longer visible.

Finally, how much kindness is a glass of milk worth?

You mean a glass of milk isn’t kindness itself?!

Web Links:

www.danielbye.co.uk
www.facebook.com/danielbyetheatremaker
twitter.com/danielbye

Daniel Bye live shows:

The Price of Everything

Thur 6 Feb – Lighthouse, Poole, 8pm

Thur 13 Feb – Globe Hall, Ireby, 7.30pm

Fri 14 Feb – Haile Village Hall, 7.30pm

How To Occupy An Oil Rig

Wed 26 Feb – Norwich Arts Centre, 8pm

Thur 27 Feb – Subscription Rooms, Stroud, 8pm

Fri 28 Feb, Sat 1 Mar – Theatre in the Mill, Bradford, 7.30pm

Tues 4, Wed 5 Mar – Warwick Arts Centre. 7.45pm

Fri 7 Mar – University of Bedfordshire, 7.30pm

Sat 8 Mar – Embrace Arts, Leicester, 8pm

Tues 11 – Thur 13 Mar – Northern Stage, Newcastle, 8pm

Fri 14 Mar – Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, 8pm

Tues 18 Mar – Alnwick Playhouse, 7.30pm

Wed 19 Mar – Unity Theatre, Liverpool, 8pm

Thur 20 Mar – mac, Birmingham, 8pm

Fri 21 Mar – Derby Theatre, 8pm

Sat 22, Sun 23 Mar – Camden People’s Theatre, London

Tues 25 Mar – Harrogate Theatre, 7.45pm

Wed 26 Mar – ARC, Stockton-on-Tees, 7pm

Thur 27 Mar – Arts Centre, Washington, 7.30pm

Sat 29 Mar – Barnsley Civic, 7.30pm

Nick Churchill

Nick Churchill has written professionally for more than 25 years. Currently a busy Journalist undertaking a wealth of celebrity interviews and human interest features to writing speeches, generating web and media content and production scripts. His first book, Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth - got great reviews. He has also worked on projects for Duncan Bannatyne, Harry Hill, James Caan, Scott Mills and Peter Dickson, the voice of The X Factor. His obvious passion for words and natural genuine integrity is most refreshing.

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February 5, 2014 By : Category : Culture Humour Interviews Recent Tags:, , , , ,
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Eddie Webber speaks to Eyeplug

We were lucky enough to catch up with Eddie Webber recently in between his busy schedule, writing and creating and acting, cooking and directing for a new-ish project that may or may not have passed under or though your radar already. Anyhow he was a great sport and all round Gent and agreed to answer a few questions for Eyeplug.net.

01. Just to get things rolling, let’s do some quick introductions?

My name is Eddie Webber creator and writer, chief cook and bottle washer of the new internet comedy series Power to the People – I was born and bred in Bermondsey, South East london I trained at Morely College and the London Bubble Theatre.

02. Tell us about how you got started in the Acting Profession?

That’s a really long story. I started at the London Bubble in Elephant Lane – I walked into the space one night and spoke to a man called Adrian Jackson, told him I wanted to be an actor and bosh! – here I am. There is a much longer version but I feel it would take up the whole page!

03. You have managed to stay very busy and build a nice Career?

God knows how – I guess that I’ve been very lucky getting involved in it when I did. Twenty years ago there wasn’t all this reality TV stuff going on so real entertainment was being made and there was always a little Cockney fella turning up in all of them – the hardest thing those days was getting an ‘equity card’ as one could not work without it.

04. What have been the highs and lows of your Acting roles?

There have never been any lows with regards to acting in projects – the only lows I can think of is when I’m not working, that’s a real low.

05. Who do you really admire from your profession?

I admire anyone that brings their projects over the finish line – so many people talk about what they are going to do but if words were calories we’d all be very fat. At the moment there is a Producer friend of mine called Jonathan Sothcott, he is really the only one I know making sellable films and employing and giving a platform to new young working class actors and bringing his films over the finish line – so he’s someone that has my respect. I also admire my friend Danny Dyer, every time he gets knocked down he gets back up again, that’s a rare quality. Sothcott is a name to watch out for in the independent British Film Industry.

06. You have also developed as a dedicated writer too?

I have always loved to write. I used to write the songs for a band that I was in as a teenager, but I am quite dyslexic, well either that or very lazy! I suppose, coming from the 1970s Comprehensive System, I’ll never know but I feel strongly drawn towards developing my writing in the future. I have three great feature movies all ready to go and I hope to get them made when the Industry gains a bit more trust in me as a Writer.

07. Tell us about the Power to the People project – aka P.A.P?

Power to the People is a fresh approach to political satire from a working class perspective. It is about a group of local lads who are fed up with the way local politics are handled and they decide to do something about it. The series follows their struggles and capers as they strive to set up a serious local political party – The People’s Advocate Party is born. It consists of six mini episodes. Episodes 1 to 6 are viewable here.

08. So you wrote preformed and produced and gave birth to the concept?

Phew, if I thought about that question before we started I think I would have talked myself out of it. I was so lucky to have the support of great actors and crew. The crew was made up of second and third year film students from Ravensbourne University who, we hope, gained valuable experience for their future by working alongside professional actors. It is the ethos of this project to encourage and support new actors, writers and film-makers as well as also sending out a calling card for our future potential projects and building our film company which is called agoodeyedeer.

09. How easy was it to work with the Internet in mind as a platform?

I think the levels of social networking are phenomenal – I love the fact that you can share with people about what your pet eats – I also love that people can find lost friends and family but mostly I love that you can share your business ideas and like minded people synchronize . Our motto in Power to the People is ‘the universe is with us’. I think it helped to have been involved with some great movies like ‘The Business’, ‘The Firm’ and ‘Big Fat Gypsy Gangster’ which all have a big fan base so my name, Geoff Bell, Danny Dyer, Ricky Grover and Laila Morse are familiar to a lot of people also Darren Russell who is our stills photographer has been an amazing help. That has definitely been an advantage when using social networking to publicise the ‘Power to the People’ series. The internet and the universe are both linked in the ether anyway, I reckon!!!

10. You managed to include some great actors and talent into P.A.P?

I was so lucky with the cast and crew, Geoff Bell (Terry), Danny Dyer (Cannon), Roland Manookian (Arthur) all worked with me on Nick Love’s ‘The Business’, Andy Linden, Ricky Grover and Laila Morse on ‘Big fat Gypsy Gangster and Johnny Palmerio (Benny the Shirt) on Ken Loach’s ‘It’s a Free World’. They all gave their valuable time for free and all they also believed in the project, I was so blessed in that respect.

11. You managed to capture a subtle and everyday feel with much warmth and humour?

My intention was to write something from a working class perspective that was real for the people that have to deal and live with some of the inexplicable decisions that Local Councils make. The humour comes naturally from where I grew up, it’s all about sub text, if that makes sense! The difficulty was to try and keep an arc to the story in 6 minute episodes. There’s so much more to delve into if we get it commissioned to TV. I personally think that there are too many writers these days employed to write in idioms that they don’t really know about i.e Eastenders etc. I mean how can someone from a comfortable middle class background write really well for characters that come from working class areas like Bermondsey, South East London and visa versa.

12. How did you fund the project and how will it grow in the future?

The first two episodes were self-funded then we had a bit of luck by meeting John Devlin who owns the Cross Keys pub in Endle St, Covent Garden who funded the rest.

13. What can people do to help support you and the P.A.P thing?

We have a merchandise website  designed by a young genius called Gary O’ Neall If people could find it in their hearts to buy a T-shirt that would help greatly to fund future Power to the People episodes. We are hoping to shoot a Christmas Special in December if we can get the funding. It would also be a great help if people could like our Facebook page here  and follow us on twitter @agoodeyedeer.

14. Do you think the Media is a little nervous that they cannot control every facet of modern technology?

I personally don’t think the media really give a monkeys about anything. They are a total law unto themselves, protected by corrupt business men and Politicians from posh schools.

15. What other projects have you got planned for the future?

Aside from the Power to the People Christmas Special, we are pitching the series to TV Channels and will be looking to move forward with two of my feature film scripts called GONE HOPPING and TOUGH TRACKS.

16. What about Local Politics? Most people are switched off these days?

I think that most people are sick to death of hearing empty words from Politicians and have become complacent and don’t expect any kind of people Democracy, for example, the last two prime ministers were not elected by the people – where is the democracy in that?

17. Can you tell us a joke?

Tarzan walks into the local job centre, walks up to the desk and says to the lady sitting there, ‘I need some money’. The woman looks at him, puzzled and says, ‘but you’re Tarzan, why would you need money?’ Tarzan says, ‘Look I am so skint, I had to eat Cheeta last week. On the Monday I ate Cheeta’s arm, on the Tuesday I ate his other arm, on the Wednesday I ate his leg, on the Thursday I ate his other leg, on the Friday I ate his torso – how the f**k can anyone live on a monkey a week in this country’. Ha Ha!

Weblinks

Power To The people – The PAP Merchandise website 

Power To The people/PAP Facebook

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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November 18, 2013 By : Category : Articles Eyeplugs Features Front page Humour Interviews Literature Net Tags:, , , , ,
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Duggie Fields – Merry Christmas

British ‘Maximalist’ Artist and Icon Duggie Fields kindly and generously issued this piece via a recent communication to Eyeplug Magazine. With a vivid, seemingly warm, festive theme, Duggie utilises vintage found images and re-renders them in a bold and montage layering style, that is constantly evolving and offers the viewer a statement on just how distorted modern day Christmas has possibly become. Image after image of traditional festive cliches jolt against stark silhouettes of homeless and lost people pushing their worldly belongings around in Corporate shopping baskets. It’s strong, bold, fun and warm and brightly makes a very strong lasting impression. Have a very Merry Christmas, Duggie Fields, you are indeed a one-off! Interesting sound manipulation too!

Film / Video / Television
1981 ‘SLICE OF LIFE’, video Taboo club screenings, London 1982 ‘POISED ON THE EDGE OF TASTE’ , film, The London Film Co-0p; ICA Cinematheque London; London International Video Festival 1983 Alter Image, tv, Channel 4 UK 1985 ‘Menschens Kinder’, tv, ZDF Germany 1985 The Oxford Roadshow, tv, BBC 2 UK 1987 ‘South of Watford’, tv, ITV (UK) 1992 ‘Londynskie Pracownie’, tv, Ch.1 Poland 1993 ‘THE BIG RIDDLE’, video, Gas club, London, The Pot, tv, New York Cable, USA 1995 Joan Quinn Show , tv, Los Angeles Cable, USA; ‘The Big Riddle’, video, European Media Art Festival, Germany 1997 ‘The Colour Eye’, tv, BBC1 UK 1999 ‘Private Property’, tv, ITV, UK; ‘SOMETIMES’, digital animation, Hackney Empire Appeal, Lux Centre, London 2000 Portobello Film & VIdeo Festival, London; Venice Short Film Festival, Italy.

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

June 5, 2015 By : Category : Animation Art Culture Eyeplugs Festivals Front page Media Picks Visuals Tags:, ,
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God Save The Queen: Kunst, Kraak, Punk – 1977-84

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Anarchive

God Save The Queen:
Kunst, Kraak, Punk (Art, Squat, Punk) 1977-1984:
Central Museum of the Netherlands,
Utrecht, Netherlands 3 March to 10 June 2012

Picking my way around the medieval city of Utrecht, eventually coming upon the Centraal Museum in an otherwise anonymous street, I found myself transported back to a distant and dangerous time in the Netherlands’ history.

‘God Save The Queen’ sang John Lydon, before he became an ambassador for British butter, but this roar of discontent from the UK’s youth of the 1970’s thundered just as strongly in another constitutional monarchy, just across the Channel. Over several floors and rooms of this sizeable museum, the Dutch punk experience is meticulously presented, taking in not only the incendiary music of the period, but also its close cousins in graffiti art, fanzine journalism, style, guerrilla media, squatting, rioting and the general mischief that characterised the angst of this period.

Entering through a bleak corridor, one wall of glass painted out white, the other covered in graffiti, we start at the most logical place: the present. In an age when punk is completely familiar to the man on the Sloterdijk tram, it seems hard to believe it began as an incestuous little scene which spread like a particularly virulent disease across the globe. The leather jackets on display here, splashed with paint, bristling with studs and festooned with badges differ from their 1970’s counterparts only in the names of the bands they celebrate. There is no attempt to re-create a slogan-covered wall from 1977; rather, the graffiti is provided by visitors to the exhibition, encouraged even, by providing pens for you to add your own salty comments to this public notice board.

Original film of some very young looking Dutch punks, in a declamatory mood on TV, is alternated with footage of rioting in Amsterdam from 1980. By ‘rioting’, I do not mean shouting slogans at disinterested police. I mean prising up cobblestones for missiles, burning property, hand-to-hand fighting, and tanks in the streets, sort of rioting. Chilling, compelling and thought provoking, all in the space of a short film clip. Sparked off by the parlous state of the Dutch economy, poor employment prospects and the lack of affordable accommodation (sounding familiar?) that Dutch youth felt sufficiently abandoned by their government to take such action, and with such force, is a sad indictment of the country’s rulers. Those of you who have visited Amsterdam will have probably run across the brightly painted, squatted buildings in Spuistraat that bear testament to these heady and iconic times.

Posters, fanzines, film and what not from this volatile period are well represented here, all refreshingly pre-digital of course, with hand-written text seemingly the norm, peppered with highly polemical cartoons that speak of the urgency their makers felt. The ‘Do It Yourself’ ethic of punk was particularly strong here, with demonstrations, gigs and club nights all springing from a culture that had more time and enthusiasm than money to achieve it.

Recalling the Anti-Fascist movement in the UK, and comparing/contrasting it with the Dutch equivalent here chronicled, I felt just a little queasy at the thought that, whilst UK far-righters had only a slim chance of electoral success, the risk in a country like the Netherlands, with proportional representation, was considerably higher. I was also struck by the fact that Dutch punk considered organised religion to be an equally malign force in the world, with the ‘Rock against Religion’ movement’s fiery campaign against a still-powerful institution.

Artwork included selections from the magnificently named Gallerie Anus, Jean-Michel Basquiat and some of Keith Haring’s synapse-frying ‘men and movement’ pieces, equally familiar to many of the hip hop generation as well as that of the punks. Most intriguing were the snippets of videotaped moments from Rabotnik TV, a gloriously messy pirate TV station in Amsterdam in the early 80’s, which together with its predecessor, Radio Rabotnik, carried punk’s ‘Do It Yourself’ ethic to its limits.

Although the walls covered in 7’’ singles and LP’s yielded few surprises, they did provoke nostalgia for an age when music was made by inspired individuals and enthusiastic bands, rather than focus groups and committees employed by vast slick soul-less corporations.

An inspired setting for live footage of the Sex Pistols, on a screen high on the wall, surrounded by crash barriers, and an impressive collection of posters, fanzines, badges and so on, evoke an era far better than any number of talking heads, filled to the gills with complimentary prosecco on a late night TV show, ever will.

Perhaps the last word on this exhibition should belong to someone who was a million miles away from punk, and whose quote mysteriously appears on the graffiti wall;

‘Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, and don’t kid yourself’.
Frank Zappa R.I.P.

Scenester: 11/3/2012

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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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Art Cult Culture Exhibitions Front page Punk Satire Tags:, , , , , , ,
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Underwater Love – Third Window Films

From Third Window Films comes ‘Underwater Love’ a strange and zany ‘pink-musical’ from Japan.

A soft-core porn musical! The first of its kind from Japan and from the wild mind of Christopher Doyle (Hero, In the Mood for Love, The Limits of Control) with all original music by German-French synth pop duo Stereo Total Third Window Films will have the UK premiere on Sunday, October 16th at the Rich Mix in Shoreditch (35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA) from 6:30pm-Midnight with the film screening introduced by its producer Stephan Holl and then followed by a live gig from Stereo Total. Tickets are £15 available at:

http://www.wegottickets.com/event/132083

and full movie information at http://www.pinkmusical.co.uk

Trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEw0_xKmBkM


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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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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Cinema Cult Humour Kitsch Picks Taboo Visuals Tags:, ,
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