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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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The Art of Modern Slot Machines

How the design of slot machines attracts patrons:

Slot machines have a secret as to why they remain the most popular attractions in casinos all over the world. That secret is the slot machines’ attractive artwork drawn on their exterior cabinets and reels. Because of the unique and eye-catching designs on each machine, slots continue to attract millions of casino-goers all over the world and they eventually became the most important assets in a casino. According to Zenit, slot machines garner around 80% of casino revenues from all over the world.

Indeed, the artwork of slots is so important since it is the initial drive the pulls people toward the machines. The intricate artwork creates some sort of connection to people that in turn makes them want to try playing slot machines.

“How the imagery is represented on the game — the colors, the graphics — is important to the experience,” said Joe Sigrist, vice president of product management for slot machine developer International Game Technology. “And, obviously, you want to connote fun, you want to connote winning, you want to connote the brand that’s being supported.”

The more people can relate to slot machine artwork, the better. Slot machines that are stationed in Asia would be better off having Asian-themed games. For example, IGT’s Four Great Chinese Beauties would be a great choice or perhaps symbols that connote luck on the reels like a red envelope or golden coin would definitely attract casino-goers who tend tap on superstitions. On the other hand, Betfair Arcade’s Rainbow Riches that feature a 4-leaf clover, a leprechaun, or a pot of gold artwork can be popular in the US and European shores since these symbols are considered lucky in both regions. The nearness of culture is one way of attracting people and themes that resonate with the players are extremely important. The key has always been making slots that would connect to what the players are looking for.

With the advancement of technology, slot machine art has further tapped on the people’s interests by making themselves interactive. Thanks to the technology of touch screens, some slot artworks now move when people touch them, adding to the overall enjoyment of people who play the machines. You see, slots today don’t just offer enjoyment when people hit the jackpot. Today, slots offer entertainment in every step of the way by featuring entertaining artwork animations every time the spin button is pressed.

Ultimately, artwork will always be an integral part of the slot machine. Slots’ success will always be dictated not only by how enjoyable their game play aspect is but how enticing their artworks to patrons are as well.

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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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January 4, 2014 By : Category : Features Front page Media Reviews 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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Searching For Sugar Man 2012 (Film Review)

If this review has reached you too late and your local cinema is no longer showing Searching For Sugar Man (SFSM) , make a note of it’s title and keep an eye out for the network premiere, I’m sure BBC4 will be on the case in no time…

The documentary tells the story of Rodriguez, a late 60s/early 70s singer-songwriter who, like so many, recorded some spellbinding music but never managed to shift the necessary units to reward the attention he deserved. Told through the eyes of a South African super-fan, SFSM is the heart-warming tale of music’s transatlantic journey and the power of a curious mind that followed.

Rodriguez was first discovered in a smokey Detroit bar by a well connected Motown producer and within weeks the shy troubadours first album Cold Fact was surrounded by critical acclaim and genuine industry buzz. (N.B. This is a great album for fans of the singer/songwriter genre – equal parts Dion, Donovan and of course Dylan).

The album didn’t sell, at all. His second and final album also bombed, however Cold Fact found it’s way to South Africa, where it instantly became the must-have LP and a soundtrack the troubled protests that rallied against Apartheid. Over the next 20 years the album took on a life of it’s own, selling in huge numbers in SA making Rodriguez an instant folk-hero and “more popular than Elvis”

By 1973, word had spread that Rodriguez had committed suicide by setting himself on fire whilst on stage. It’s not as bleak as it sounds, this is a life affirming story that any music fan needs to see. Like 2008’s Anvil before it, this story stands on it’s own merits as a great film, pulling the audience in from the opening credits whether you dig the soundtrack or not.

In a world where our most popular singers are fame-hungry but talent-lite SFSM goes some way in readdressing the imbalance that continues to smother the modern age.

Full Trailer link here.

Glen.manners

Glen Manners is front-man of SE London’s finest rock combo ‘Dig For Victory’. He is an avid collector of music, especially records between the magical years of ‘66 and ‘73. Over last 12 years Glen has been joyfully soaking up some of the finest indie/mod/hippie hangouts across London. And at the ripe old age of 32, can not envisage a time when he would ever want to slow down. Glen has one eye on the worlds rich musical heritage and another firmly on the here and now, this can give him the most startlingly odd look but that is simply the way he likes it. Glen is a television freak, movie buff, lyricist and ever playful optimist.

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June 16, 2015 By : Category : Cinema Front page Media Reviews Tags:,
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AuthorQ – Dougie Brimson

Dougie Brimson exploded onto the UK literary scene in 1996 and has remained there pretty much ever since. A former RAF serviceman and Falklands Veteran, his first book Everywhere We Go remains a cult classic amongst football fans the world over whilst his fictional work including the thrillers The Crew and Top Dog and the comedy diary Billy’s Log have established his as a firm and best-selling favourite. However, he is perhaps best known as a screenwriter with his most notable success being the multi-award winning film, Green Street.

01. How did you get started in your career as an author?

I fell into it by accident. I’d left the RAF in 1994 with no real idea of what I wanted to do other than I was intent on avoiding any more engineering for a while and somehow ended up working as a TV and Film extra with my younger brother.

Anyone who has ever done any of that kind of work knows how much sitting around you actually do and inevitably, discussions turned to football, violence, casuals and the forthcoming EURO 96. That’s when the idea for Everywhere We Go was born.

So, after gathering a load of ideas and notes together, we finally decided that we best approach a publisher so I walked into WH Smiths, picked up the first football book I came across and wrote to the publisher. I wouldn’t say that they bit our hands off, but within a few weeks we had a deal and an advance in place. It was only years later that I discovered how lucky we’d been and that it doesn’t happen like that for everyone!

Of course after the first one came out, we caned it with another three books in quick succession because we never knew how long it would last. Yet here I am 16 years later, still at it and still wondering how I’m getting away with it.

02. Where does your direction and inspiration come from?

In terms of my books, everything comes from my readership because without them, I don’t really have anything.

Thankfully, they are both loyal and incredibly supportive which is, I think, largely due to the fact that I encourage them to let me know their opinions be it via email or by leaving reviews on the online store sites. By doing that and taking on board their comments, I’m better equipped to be able to give them what they actually want to read as opposed to what I hope they might want. That’s a massive difference and it’s one I think readers appreciate but which too many authors and publishers fail to understand.

Indeed, one thing I always tell budding authors is that if they want to write for publication it is absolutely vital that they get to know who their target readership will be, research what they are reading and then write something to suit. That might sound mercenary but it’s exactly what a publisher will do when they’re deciding if a submission is right for them so why not make the process easier for yourself?

In my case, my target readership is primarily lads and as a lad myself (albeit an older version!) I understand that we’re basically simple creatures who know what we like to read and more importantly, how we like to read.  So I try to give them what they want in a way that’s easily accessible, it really is as simple as that. There’s no magic formula to it.

In that sense the eBook explosion has been a fantastic boon for me because not only does it help the exchange of information to guide me toward what to write, it allows me to publish those books much faster than I’d be able to via traditional means. It’s win-win for everyone.

However, don’t get the impression that I take my readership (be they real or potential) for granted because I don’t. As a professional author my readership is my livelihood and if I don’t keep them happy and entertained, I’ll starve!

There are though, projects which are labours of love and which I do for my own amusement and my last book The Art of Fart was one such book. I had more fun writing that than I’ve ever had with any writing project. It was quite simply hilarious. But then again, farting is isn’t it?

Films are a very different beast largely because whilst in some senses they are easier to write, there are so many hoops to be jumped through before anything gets anywhere near a camera. As a result, you’re often under the control of other people and whilst that can be fun, it can also be bloody hard work. There are an awful lot of major league bull shitters in the movie game.

03. Who were your major influences and passions and who do you despise?

In terms of writing, I don’t have any influences. I know that sounds conceited, but it’s true, I don’t. There are a lot of people I like and admire for sure, but I hope I have my own voice and my own style.

Life is a different thing entirely. My grandmother was and is my inspiration and to this day, if I have to make any kind of major decision I ask her what I should do. She never lets me down. I also have a couple of good mates who are seriously inspirational to me. They are driven, have total belief in their ability and what they are doing and never even think about giving up when things aren’t going well. Legends.

I’m far too much of a gentleman to say who I even dislike let alone despise in public. Besides, I have a limited amount of space and my shit list is extensive.

04. What current projects are you involved with?

Book wise, I’m currently putting the finishing touches to a novel called Wings of a Sparrow which is a comedy based around a football fanatic who inherits ownership of his local rivals. Think Fever Pitch meets Brewster’s Millions. Once I’ve finished that, then work will commence on the third book in the The Crew/Top Dog trilogy.

On the film front, plans for the film adaptation of Wings are well advanced with a script, producer, lead actor and director already in place and I’ve also written a movie about a British Muslim soldier who loses his legs in Afghanistan. Again, we have a lead, director and producer attached to that so it’s a hectic time!

But when it comes to movies, I do my best to ensure that wherever possible my involvement is limited to matters relating to the script. I can’t be arsed with the rest of it.

05. What can someone who has never read or seen your work before expect and how may this change in the future?

That depends on what it is they pick up! I’m apparently unique in many ways given that my 14 books range from hard-hitting non-fiction about hooliganism and the culture of football fandom through to comedy fiction about sad losers and even ‘faction’ about farting! That’s some range of work but at least it means there should be something for everyone!

However, if someone comes to me and asks me to suggest one of my own books, I point them at The Crew or Billy’s Log. Very different in many ways but both bloody good reads (I think) and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

And it is what it’s all about. A book should be entertainment and if someone is going to hand over hard-earned money for something I’ve created and spend valuable time reading it, it’s only fair that I do my absolute very best to ensure that they get value for money.  Then again, The Crew is a free download both on Amazon and iTunes so that last bit doesn’t apply!

06. How do you begin your works? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with? Is there anything that you feel you would steer clear of?

Like all things, books start with the germ of an idea and they come from one of three places; my warped imagination, life and the market. For example, the inspiration for Billy’s Log came from a conversation I overheard on the tube between two middle aged women who were blaming men for everything that was going wrong in their lives whilst missing the fact that they were both clearly bunny boilers.

Once I have the basic idea, then I’ll always work on the ending first because to me, that’s the most important part of any book. It’s the bit the reader remembers and it’s the bit which will hopefully leave them wanting more.

If I can develop a decent ending, usually with a major twist built in, then I’ll start to properly build my characters and plot out the rest of the story but it has to be a great story because there’s no point otherwise. At that point, I’ll run the outline past a few mates and if they like it, I’ll run with it.

That might not be the classic way of doing things, but it works for me.

But no matter what it is, be it fiction or non-fiction, I will only ever start something if I think I’m going to enjoy doing it. After all, if I don’t enjoy writing it how on earth can I do it justice?

For that reason, there are two subjects I tend to steer clear of; religion and homosexuality. I’m kind of anti-religion and I’m certainly not homosexual so the idea of researching either subject leaves me a bit cold.

07. Does your personal world view tend to shape your work and if so how do you include this into your finished pieces?

Oh god yes! How can it not? I’m lucky in that I came into writing quite late in life and had already spent 18 years in the RAF so trust me, I’d lived a little! Indeed, someone recently asked me if I’d ever think about writing an autobiography and I said no because no one would ever believe it!

Of course when you experience life then you form opinions on pretty much everything and as anyone who has ever read any of my non-fiction or indeed my blog, will know, I am slightly opinionated. Indeed, one thing that really gets on my tits are people under 30 preaching in the media about this or that as if they know. They don’t know, they can’t know. They haven’t lived.

08. What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

I think my biggest challenge has been learning to set stuff aside. Not in the sense of getting crap reviews or anything like that, all authors get those and if you can’t take that sort of thing then don’t write.

No, it’s the big stuff that can be the problem. The biggest of all arrived one night when I realised that I was being screwed over by someone I had considered to be the very closest of friends. And I mean screwed over big time. To make matters worse, I then found out that a lot of people I knew and trusted who were working with us on the same project had known what was going on and did nothing to either stop it or even warn me.

That ate me up for a long time and impacted on both work and life generally because the betrayal was so personal. However, I eventually learned to set it aside purely because I realised that the best way to deal with those people was to be better than them. And I hope I have been and will be.

But rest assured, I’ll fuck them all over when the opportunity arises. I’ve already refused to have certain people brought onto projects and even had someone place a proper full-on curse on the biggest culprit. Now I don’t know whether you believe in such things or not but what I do know is that their career has tanked and that will do for me.

And yes, they know what I did because I told them. I also told them what they have to do to get it lifted but they’re obviously happier struggling to regain the status and opportunity they once had because I’m still waiting and their still struggling. That’s fine by me though.

Bare a grudge… me? Too fucking right.

09. Do you feel the British Media in all its forms needs a shake up?

Oh yes. I think it’s such a shambolic mess that even the general public are starting to desert it because it’s too selective, too preaching and too celebrity focussed. That’s why less people watch the news, less people buy newspapers and to be blunt, less people care.

The hope of course, was that the Leveson enquiry was going to shake a few things up and go some way toward rebuilding that trust but I don’t personally think much will change. The truth is that only thing that will actually change anything is pressure from the great British public and I can’t see that happening. They’re far too set in their ways. But once a nation loses trust and faith in its media, it’s screwed. We’re not screwed yet, but we’re getting there.

10. Where do you envisage being in five years time? What types of things do you get offered due to your success?

Hopefully breathing! I’d settle for that at the moment. However, as long as people keep buying my work then I’ll certainly keep doing my best to keep supplying them with fresh material.

I’m fortunate in that I do get a lot of offers of work and I’ve met some fabulous individuals over the years. I’ve also been to some fabulous places with Russia being a particular favourite largely because of the amazing people.

But trust me, the life of an author isn’t full of grandiose parties, glittering openings and trips to 5 star hotels. Well, mine isn’t anyway. In 16 years of writing I’ve been invited to two literary events and both of those primarily involved authors moaning about a certain publisher who I was actually quite happy to be working with!

Most bizarrely of all, I’ve never even been invited to the British Sports Book Awards even though as I type this, The Crew has been at number one on the Amazon and iTunes football charts for over 8 months and of the top 50 football titles on iTunes, 7 are my books! Figure that one out.

11. Who would you most like to work with and in what capacity? Any heroes and zeroes?

I’ll work with anyone who actually gets things done as opposed to people who simply talk about getting things done. But ideally, I’d only want to work with people I like and get on with. Why on earth would I or anyone else want to do otherwise especially when, as a writer, you’re going to be spending an awful lot of time together?

I really liked Elijah Wood when I met him on Green Street so I’d love to work with him again if the opportunity ever arose and George Clooney looks an absolute blast of a bloke so to do something with him would, I’m sure, be awesome fun.

Most of my hero’s are actual hero’s in the proper sense as opposed to being some media or sporting figure who has been hyped up by the media and since they are generally out of the public eye, to mention them would be unfair. But if there was one high profile figure I consider worthy of the term it’s David Beckham. The guy is a quality individual in pretty much every respect.

Zero’s I don’t do. I can’t stand people who are full of themselves and I certainly won’t work with them. Danny Dyer is a good example. The guy’s a total dick.

12. How have you included technology and the internet into your working methods and finished works?

Other than the use of a laptop and a decent internet connection, I don’t really have any need for that much technology. But like all authors, a decent web presence is essential as is social media. I’m addicted to Twitter.

I’ve never actually included much technology in any of my work although I have written a fantastic outline for a book about the five eyes surveillance system called Echelon. The trouble is that kind of stuff moves so fast that it’s probably already out of date now.

Links:

Web: dougiebrimson.com

Twitter: @dougiebrimson

Blog: dougiebrimson.wordpress.com/

Facebook: facebook.com/dougiebrimsonauthor

 

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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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Articles Cinema Culture Features Literature Tags:, , , , , ,
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We Can Elude Control (Throbbing Gristle)

We Can Elude Control – De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill on Sea Sat 9/6/12

 

It’s always an adventure to visit Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion, and this time, put to highly appropriate use. In among Cerith Wyn Evans’ shimmering light sculptures, the festival of electronic / industrial music attracted a small but dedicated crowd of enthusiasts, some with children in tow, to what felt like the last town in England. Gazing out to sea, the Royal Sovereign Light Tower seven miles away in the English Channel, the feeling of isolation seemed apposite to the music of Evol et al showcased today.

Your friend Scenester’s favourite music is a long way from this computer generated sound, and I admit to finding little to enjoy in the seemingly endless sets of pounding, buzzing electronic noise, accompanied by fuzzy, spidery visuals, reminiscent of dragging a magnet across a computer monitor. My opinion wasn’t shared by the skaters, shine heads and post Goths who made up the majority of the audience. They clapped, and some even danced, to the passages of white noise, stereo ping pong matches and symphonies for power drills that passed for music here.

The citizens of Bexhill on Sea, taking the air, walking their dogs and enjoying the bright sunlight of this June afternoon seemed completely oblivious to the plodding, metronomic beats that gave the De La Warr Pavilion an extraordinary heartbeat today, as no-one appeared to wander in to investigate.

It was with some relief and affection that I saw the approaching figures of Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti take the stage of the auditorium, with only a large projection screen and a wide table filled with computers to accompany them. In their sensible clothes, they cut fairly anonymous figures, and I couldn’t banish the image of them from my mind, as two Treasury ministers about to expound on quantitive easing.

Their set was comprised of working mixes of ‘Desertshore’, Throbbing Gristle’s final LP, which will get a release in its own right on Industrial Records in October 2012. With recorded vocals by, amongst others, Blixa Bargeld, Marc Almond and Cosey herself, the music soothed in its adherence to more conventional ideas about rhythm and melody. With peaceful landscapes projected onto the screen and beautiful Arabic scale sounds; this could have been a particularly louche meditation hour at a mind/body/spirit festival. Chris and Cosey reminded us how emotional and involving electronic music can be, in the right hands.

Scenester

12/6/12

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 : Cult Culture Events Front page Icons Industrial Live Media Reviews Tags:, , ,
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808 State @WOWfest 2012

This entry is part 12 of 13 in the series Eyeplug@WOWFest

808 State are a British electronic music outfit, formed in 1987 in Manchester, taking their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and their common state of mind.

Please see the great interview below, answered by Graham Massey from the band.

808 State Interview, Graham Massey from the Band:

1. What are your earliest memories of getting bitten by the music bug?

The family record player. We actually did have a wind up 78 that my Dad would drop Gracie Fields records on. Then we upgraded to a Dancette 3 speed. My Brothers and I took turns getting a 7 inch each week. Beatle mania ensued, The Shadows instrumentals, popular classical on 7 inch EPs. One of my first 7 inches was a freebie with Action Man. I used to like the sound fx side, just war noises That might be telling?

The Radio was always on around meal times. I remember it was a mix of Brit groups and older stuff like Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

2. Was your family background musical in any way?

Not wildly. We had a piano. My brother had lessons and had sheet music to Rolling Stones and Kinks records. I used to do a version of Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001 fanfare) with my fists. I could also do it on mouth organ, there was no applause or accolades.

Next door had an arch top guitar, I had a banjo uke’ and there was some occasional Skiffle in a shed. I remember having a go on a relatives electric organ, that may have been formative in that “reverb” seemed to be the missing link to the space age, which coloured everything for me back in the 60s, terribly exciting futures awaited us on other worlds, all sound-tracked with electronic tones.

3. What were your original influences and how have they changed over time?

One of the first inroads into music was through getting a cassette recorder at the age of 12. It was the must have item for boys in 72. You used to record chart run downs off your radio or Top Of The Pops off the TV by shoving a microphone in front of said devices. Recordings of TV Adverts and theme tunes, you could do fake Michael Parkinson interviews with your mates and then any musical activity you could dream up with what ever you had… Stylophones, electronic project kits. Woolworth’s reed organs seemed to be universal.

There were books in the library that talked of the afore mentioned electronic space tones “Experimental Music” with interesting pictures of La Monte Young, Terry Riley ,Cage etc. There was a notion of “avant garde” that appealed and became supported when I got into Virgin records budget vinyl like Faust Tapes and Gongs “Camembert Electrique”, and Hawkwind etc in the mid 70s.

Punk was a game changer for me, or rather Post Punk, because you could take electronic and experimental influences from Prog & Spacerock and marry that to mad energy. It was also a form of music that addressed clubs and dance floor culture, disco and technology.

When we formed 808 State it wasn’t just about a love of abstract US dance music, it was as much about an exploration of emerging music technology. Samplers were a key revolutionary instrument. The technology was the common syntax but the accent was a blend of experiences that you tend to get in a place like Manchester. The UK urban thing is a different packet of seeds to the US or European counterpart. It’s why you can still mix an early 90’s “Shut Up And Dance” record with Dubstep. The relay race isn’t over yet. The UK sound is easy to spot in the global mush of your modern dance floor. There’s no software for style but I think most people can’t help but respond when they hear it.

4. Have you ever been to the Isle Of Wight?

Yes, 808 State played Bestival in 2008 and I also played Bestival with The Sisters Of Transistors in 2010. We got lost trying to find the Festival site… some locals had taken all the signs down or pointed them in the wrong directions.

5. Tell us about your live sound?

We are currently a five piece live band. Darren does MCing with decks and percussion, Andrew and I do the synths and we run a MacBook Pro using Logic to a fireface sound card with multiple outs. We use a bunch of old analogue keyboards like Moogs and Rolands. I also do guitars and sax. We have Paddy Steer on Bass Guitar, he’s a very interesting and great musician whom I’ve collaborated with on many projects. We also have Carl Sharrocks on Drums; I spotted him playing with a tech group called Sirconical a few years back. He can lock on like an Exocet and it turns out he grew up listening to our stuff and knows it like the back of his hand.

6. How has your sound changed over the years?

It has just grown with the technology of the times. I guess we’ve been having a relationship with technology long enough to realize that “new” isn’t always better, which is why we still use a lot of analogue synths and an element of live instruments along side the computers.

Computers are way more powerful & reliable for stage use now. When I look back they were such a struggle throughout the 90’s, crashing and sticking, never being able to trust the timing, it could send you demented. We are an odd combination of DJ crew and band that grew organically from having to present a studio product live and keep it exciting on stage. It can get messy, we are a sweaty techno band, not really in the Kraftwerk mould.

7. What have been the high points of your career?

I think we were lucky to ride the big wave of Rave when it first happened in late 80’s. It was a very exciting time in music as a whole, and we were allowed to freely be creative with a positive back up in that it was all valid. We had a audience that wasn’t niche, it was Pop and Edge at the same time. High points are always about moment of creation, you might not always have people ready to listen. It was great when that process was immediate.

8. And the low-points?

We made all kinds of daft decisions, but what do you want Snow Patrol?

9. What about the present day set up?

We are all still active in areas of music, a lot of archiving going on in recent years as you have to over see that your music is digitally converted properly – that’s a big job with a back catalogue like ours.

Our website 808state.com will keep you up to date on current projects. Andy & Darren go out and DJ a lot as 808 State Sound System, they also do a new web radio show on Beatwolf.com which is far from your usual dry dance radio fayre. They’ve always had a natural flair for radio. I’m quite often on Freakier Zone on BBC6 Music… It’s a program about “outsider music” or trainspotter “up it” music depending on your stance.

10. Thoughts on today’s music scene?

I think everybody has their own music scene, it’s not centralized through the media anymore. Internet hype, out of touch print and other media has diminished trust, word of mouth and faith in music as an uplifting force and will always prevail.

Keeping ears expectant is the current dilemma. You need all your basic music food groups: quiet reflective music, body punching loud abandon, mystery, history, community, appreciation of dynamic sound. Few places have a decent sound these days. We should give ratings to a venue for sound quality, or simply gather as groups around quality sound systems to recalibrate what it means. Your brain shuts off to music if you don’t tickle it the right way.

11. What can we expect for your WOWFest 2012 Show?

You can expect to put your hands in the air. You will be shouted at with considerable amplification. You will suffer abdominal sub bass cramps that will be followed by involuntary euphoria.

Websites
808 State Website
808 State on Facebook
808 State on Twitter
808 State on YouTube

Eyeplug@WOWFest

Eyeplug@WOWFest - Insider Media Coverage and the First Event Hook UP from the MULTI-MOOD-MACHINE SOUNDSYSTEM fro a new Festival taking place this August 2012 in Shanklin, Isle Of Wight in fab settings with a super dooper line up! Watch out for new, reviews, articles, insights, and general focus right up to the Event itself and beyond! Check out the WOWFest webiste and come along for the Party! Tickets Available Now!

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Beats Culture Events Eyeplugs Festivals Front page Hype Media News Tags:, , , ,
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Baka Beyond @WOWfest 2012

This entry is part 10 of 13 in the series Eyeplug@WOWFest

After 20 years of mixing African and Celtic music in equal measures Baka Beyond have become one of the finest danceable bands around, creating the sound of the African global village.

Not just a touring band, Baka Beyond have a unique relationship with their inspiration – the Baka Pygmies of Cameroon – sending royalties to help their development projects, and even touring with Baka musicians.

Baka Beyond was founded in 1992 after British musicians Martin Cradick and Su Hart had visited the Baka Pygmies of the Cameroon rainforests after seeing a TV documentary. So inspired were they by their magical rhythms and melodies that they recorded an album “Spirit of the Forest” under the name Baka Beyond which pushed them into worldwide recognition.

In order to make sure that the Baka get their fair return for their compositions they also founded the charity, “Global Music Exchange”. So started this very positive African – European collaboration.

Since these early beginnings when the term “world music” barely existed, Baka Beyond has evolved into a multicultural, dynamic live stage show and album sales top a quarter of a million copies. Band members hail from Brittany, Cameroon, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Congo and Ghana as well as Britain. Each musician brings their own influence and talent to the music creating a unique spectacle and honoring a lesson learned from the Baka people, “everyone is to be listened to”.

Baka Beyond’s years of touring have paid off. The energy of their thoroughly uplifting and seamless blend of African rhythm and Celtic melody defies anybody to sit still. They recently headlined Edmonton Folk Festival and wowed the 15,000 strong crowd, most of whom were new to the magic of Baka Beyond.

The band digitally released their new album ‘Kisumani’ in Spring 2012 and there will be a ‘physical’ release in the Summer.

For selected shows the band will be joined on vocals by Molara, Fela Kuti’s niece and the original voice of dub dance pioneers, Zion Train. Ghanaian percussionist, Nii Tagoe provides the rhythm section along with Tim Robinson and Congolese bass player Kibisingo Douglas (of Kanda Bongo Man). All of this is very much tied together by the energy of Paddy le Mercier ‘s Bretagne fiddle and Martin Cradick’s hypnotic guitar, recently described as sounding like ‘Jerry Garcia after a long trip in West Africa’.

Baka Beyond Interview, Martin Cradick from the Band:

1. What are your earliest memories of getting bitten by the music bug?

Although I had piano lessons at the age of 8 or 9, I wasn’t really enthusiastic about music until hearing someone play guitar and sing a song around a campfire when I was on holiday aged 12. I got a cheap classical guitar and started teaching myself for a year until I had classical guitar lessons at school. After Grade 5 (at age around 15) the pieces got more intellectual and boring to my ears and I gave up formal lessons and started playing electric guitar in bands.

2.Was your family background musical in any way?

The only music played at home was Christmas Carols at christmas time. Apart from that my Mum would constantly hum “busy bee” tunes while doing the housework. I don’t think she was ware of it and it is probably responsible for my affinity to improvised tunes that doodle on and on without going anywhere – “as directionless as a runaway shopping trolly” as one reviewer once said! I found that there were quite a lot of people who actually liked that sort of music!
My grandmother’s sister (who I never met, was a concert pianist in Australia, and the first woman to write a piece of music for a brass band apparently, and her mother was trained as a concert pianist but damaged her hand before she could take it up as a career. So I suppose there is some musical ability in my genes.

3. What were you original influences and how have they changed over time?

When I first started playing guitar my elder sister was going out with someone in a progressive rock band so I heard the records she had – Genesis, Yes, Camel etc. The first album I bought was Aladdin Sane ny David Bowie, but it was the music of Can that actually influenced me most at that time – the philosophy that great music comes by accident from improvisation.
After that it was mostly live music that influenced me. I saw (and jammed with) a reggae band at Stonehenge Free Festival (probably about 1979/1980) and I realised that if you mixed improvisation with music that people danced to it made it more accessible.

I was busking in Paris on my 21st birthday and heard Fela Cuti. The first time I had heard African music and it had an immediate resonance with me.

Travelling to South America in 1988, and hearing the bands at the Baranquilla Carnival in Columbia was influential. None of them had a drum kit, but they all had all the parts of the drum kit played by different people creating a totally different feel.

At the time I was co-running a music club in Oxford (The Madhatter’s Club). It had recently been closed down due to neighbour’s complaints, and being the last music venue in town (the council having already closed all the others down) we kicked up a huge fuss and eventually were allowed to stay open and even get support from the council. People who know the Oxford music scene now wouldn’t recognise that kind of attitude from the council who now can’t do enough to help live music. We had to really fight to set the ground for that.

The biggest influence has of course been Su’s and my visit to the Baka in 1992. (I’ve been going ever since – every year at least once now since 2000, and a few times before then). That is the influence that gives the sound to our current band. Not necessarily totally in the sound we produce, but in the spirit of the music. All grooving together to create a positive vibe.

4. Have you ever been to the Isle Of Wight?

Yes.

5. Tell us about your live sound?

African based rhythms underlying a mixture of Celtic, African and improvised melodies. Dance/Trance music with a positive vibe and many influences from traditional music in Africa and Celtic fringes of Europe.

6. How has your sound changed over the years?

It shifts and changes quite organically, depending to a certain extent on which musicians are playing as we try to make a space for each person’s style. The albums have mainly been studio based and end up being quite a different entity to the live show. This year we are going back to a more “traditional Baka Beyond sound” with pretty much the lineup of 2000 – Eleanor has joined us this summer again on vocals after a gap of 12 years.

7. What have been the high points of your career?

Probably playing to 20,000 people on a saturday night on the main stage at Edmonton Festival in Canada (view on youtube Here) Also bringing 7 Baka musicians over from Cameroon to tour with us in 2012.

8. And the low-points?

Spending most of last year recording a new album and then having to shelve it due to the band members all falling out. Partly due to me trying to learn not to be a control freak and failing dismally. We live and learn and as Jimmy Cliff says, “you’ve gotta walk and don’t look back”

9. What about the present day set up?

Back to “traditional Baka Beyond”. Drums, African percussion, positive vibes and highly danceable rhythms (but you can just lie back and let it all take you away, if that’s what you prefer).

10. Thoughts on today’s music scene?

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Africa recently and to be honest am not that in touch with what’s current as far as radio etc is concerned. I’ve always been far more interested in live music, and that seems really exciting at the moment. What I find really striking is that so many young bands seem to be playing music very similar to the music bands I was in in the early ’80s were playing, although at the time most bands we knew then thought we were crazy and hopelessly out of touch!

11. What’s in the pipeline for the future?

I’ve just finished mixing and mastering an album I recorded in Cameroon in February. Its a follow up to Baka Gbiné’s album “Gati Bongo” (tThe title track of which has just been selected to be on a new Zumba Dance video game!). The Baka musicians have formed a really tight rhythm section and the music sounds great. I would like to help them tour in the Cameroon next year and then come to Europe in 2014.

 12. What can we expect for your WOWFest 2012 Show?

Energetic infectious rhythms, beautiful harmonies, dancing feet and happy faces all around you.

Websites

Baka Beyond
Myspace
Facebook
Twitter
Youtube

Eyeplug@WOWFest

Eyeplug@WOWFest - Insider Media Coverage and the First Event Hook UP from the MULTI-MOOD-MACHINE SOUNDSYSTEM fro a new Festival taking place this August 2012 in Shanklin, Isle Of Wight in fab settings with a super dooper line up! Watch out for new, reviews, articles, insights, and general focus right up to the Event itself and beyond! Check out the WOWFest webiste and come along for the Party! Tickets Available Now!

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June 16, 2015 By : Category : Culture Events Eyeplugs Festivals Front page Gigs Hype Media News Tags:, , , ,
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More Acts Confirmed for WOWFest 2012

This entry is part 8 of 13 in the series Eyeplug@WOWFest

wow_red-funnel_1a

Picture 1 of 4

WOWfest is thrilled to announce the UK exclusive appearance of Madeleine Peyroux, on her much awaited return European tour, in August. Headlining the Blue Angel stage on Sunday night this American bohemian, once discovered busking on the streets of Paris, has a voice likened to the late great Billy Holiday. With self penned soul searching lyrics delivered in husky tones of a jazz/folk style, the lady who left us with “Careless Love” five years ago, returns with two more albums under her belt and stronger than ever.

WOWfest has the greatest reggae line up of this season and how appropriate that there is also a stage, at this brightest new festival, to revive the mood of the British modern Jazz era of 1950s London clubs, around Carnaby Street, growing at the same time as sounds from the Caribbean were integrating into UK musical culture around the same haunts as jazzfather Johnny Dankworth.

The WOWfest Blue Angel Stage revives the spirit of the great island jazz festivals, but with an extra pinch of WOW. During the day escape into the eclectic world that is jazz – from ’40s swing to bebop and modern fusions, plus the most unexpected – to night time burlesque and comedic cabaret with all the ingredients of turn of the century France or pre-war Berlin. In Das Kabaret see one of the most respected and admired performers in the world of burlesque, LouLou D’vil, along with the King of Comedy Magic, Christian Lee and legendary street performer, Chris Lynam, among others to whip up a froth of expectation and much laughter.

The Blue Angel stage boasts enigmatic renditions from the UK’s hottest vocal harmony group, The Overtones, with songs from their platinum selling album ‘Good Ol’ Fashioned Love’. Influenced by classics artists like Amy Winehouse, Duffy and the Drifters, their unique doo-wop vocal harmonies will be sure to keep audiences spellbound.

Gregg Kofi Brown makes a first time appearance on the festival isle. Gregg has been a member of the world class African pioneers OSIBISA for over 22 years and has travelled all over the world promoting the music of Ghana. His music is an addictive fusion of funky afro-rhythms, jazz and conscience-laden lyrics.

And anticipated to be making a return to the Isle of Wight is DJ Perry Louis & his JazzCotech Dancers or “Red Box Perry” and “those brilliant dancers” as they became affectionately known at IW Jazz Festivals. They’ll be occupying the Blue Angel during the weekend with their own style of Old Skool Jazz, Street Dance and DJ Perry’s enviable collection of over 10,000 vinyls covering all those great genres that have their musical roots in Africa.

Performing on the Blue Angel stage is London born singer, writer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Cang who has toured, recorded and written with Ian Drury, Scritti Politti, K.T. Tunstall, Desmond Dekker, Hall and Oates,Marianne Faithfull, Hugh Masakela, Leona Lewis and Aswad – with whom he wrote the million seller hit “Shine”. Joe’s band includes some of the cream of London’s musicians and they are currently playing throughout Europe their unique blend of new classic jazz with a strong hint of blues.

From Ronnie Scotts to Milan and finally to the Isle of Wight’s WOWfest, ex Communard Sarah Jane Morris is one artist that really lets you “Leave your preconceptions at home,” as one London critic said of the sensual singer-songwriter. Sarah straddles rock, blues, jazz and soul with a goosebump-raising four octave range that rumbles from the heels of her size eight shoes to the tips of her flame-red mane. Famed for her association with the Communards in the mid-80s, Sarah has always attracted as much attention for her politics as for her soul-driven, seismic voice.

Other artists gracing the Blue Angel are distinctive Dominican jazz guitarist Cameron Pierre, the Shez Raja Collective, the London Gospel Community Choir, award winning Dennis Rollins – the most exciting British trombonist of our times – and Dixie chicks Larkin Poe, the precociously talented young women who recently took America by storm.

Tickets are available, still promotionally priced at £99 for adult weekenders, from www.wowfest.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter: #WOWfestIOW and Facebook: WOWfest. To receive WOWfest Newsletters, send your email address to enquiries@wowfest.co.uk.

Eyeplug@WOWFest

Eyeplug@WOWFest - Insider Media Coverage and the First Event Hook UP from the MULTI-MOOD-MACHINE SOUNDSYSTEM fro a new Festival taking place this August 2012 in Shanklin, Isle Of Wight in fab settings with a super dooper line up! Watch out for new, reviews, articles, insights, and general focus right up to the Event itself and beyond! Check out the WOWFest webiste and come along for the Party! Tickets Available Now!

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Culture Events Eyeplugs Front page Gigs Hype Media News Tags:, ,
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