Monday, 28 February 2011

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Life through a Lense # 7

New Brighton-Martin Parr 1985

Martin Parr captures the British like no other photographer. His images capture the feeling of the mass produced seaside postcard in colour and tone but tell a story. For those unfamiliar with his work I would recommend rolling up your trouser leg and dipping your toe in


On Oscar night it's a happy Birthday to the one time Queen of Hollywood. North London's very own Elizabeth Taylor.
Liz receives Oscar from Yul Brynner & Bob Hope

Saturday, 26 February 2011


Boneshaker magazine is an interesting advert free magazines about our friend the humble bicycle. It is beautifully designed and has a sense of fun absent from most 'specialist' magazines. It has features about people and their bikes and the projects they're involved in, so it's really a people/bike magazine.
I occasionally dust off my Specialized Rockhopper and go for a ride so I read the mag with interest.

here's a link, why not give it a spin

Friday, 25 February 2011


One of the things that are currently getting on my nerves are Scart sockets. Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs are responsable for these 21 pin monsters.  Has there ever been an electrical cable designed and built specifically to break like the Scart? I think not. The puny and fragile pins need only the slightest lateral movement and they either snap or break the moulded housing of the socket. They are an analogue design in a digital environment. People are also drawn to fiddling about with them when they can’t fathom out how to get the DVD/Blue ray/X Box/Wii/PS3 working; the result, breakage. What’s the point of the Scart when it is engineered to fall apart? I can’t believe that a more trustworthy piece of technology has not been designed and manufactured. Then again, I withdraw that last statement. I am not surprised. Scarts that break need replacing with other Scarts that break which need replacing with other Scarts that…well, you get the picture. Or in fact when they break you don’t get the picture.

Life through a Lense # 6

Afghan girl with green eyes 1985-Steve McCurry
Iconic image from a war zone

Thursday, 24 February 2011


Flintlock  were a East London band who came to public attention in a number of child orientated TV programmes in the seventies but their appearance in  seventies Sc Fi series The Tomorrow People; a cross between Doctor Who, X-Men, Summer Holiday and The Wicker man spring boarded them to Top of the pops.. Drummer Mike Holloway was the paranormal Tomorrow people's resident heart throb therefore the band idea was focused around him. the episode they appeared in was about the band's music awakening an ancient demon. Given the programmes psychedelic under tones it's a surprise that the feature band were a bland bunch of popsters.
hearts of Soggoth
This was way ahead of the era when young Americans blew off half their faces because Judas Priest records played backwards told them to do so.Mind you the insipid racket Flintlock produced would probably raised a few demons in the minds of music lovers.
TOTP-check the charts
Surprisingly Flintlock went on to chart success, with their banal blend of popcorn and bubblegum. Mike Holloway went on to half a couple of poorly received solo albums and made a career on the pantomime/musical theatre circuit.
Disturbing opening sequence

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Life through a Lense # 5

Judy Garland 1954-Bob Willoughby
Actor and director on the set of A star is Born. The process isolated.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

Some talk just to hear the sound of their own voice. Uncomfortable in silence they fill the gaps with stuff and nonsense. Execrable chit chat that makes ones ears burn and brain harden. Language is a unique and powerful tool that has been used by humanity in its greatest and darkest moments, so to have inane banter imposed on my early morning half functioning cortex is truly an awful thing.

I say this because at the moment I am having my humble abode decorated. A job that was supposedly going to take “a week, two at the most” is now stretching into its fifth week, and the ever cheery paint-smith feels obligated to bombard me with his early morning elocution.

Just to set the scene; I don’t want to talk to anyone in the morning. I want to amble down the stairs, pour myself a cup of coffee (I have a coffee maker on a timer which is perfect, requiring little first thing effort). I want to sit. Quietly. Drinking coffee. Maybe read. Maybe listen to the radio. Or music. Or silence. What I don’t want to do is talk. To anyone. About anything. Ever.

Witty repartee can naff off. Clever clogs chatter can go forth and multiply. It’s not too much to ask for a leisurely morning regime; it’s my start of the day, in my world, in my house.

Don’t get me wrong, the decorator is a nice fellow, no spite or malice in him. He just talks and talks and talks some more. For him I guess it’s as normal as the mug of tea he has and the lunchtime flick through the daily Star that he brings with him. Part of his own ritual. That’s fine, but I wish he would allow me my own insular morning ritual.

As the completion day grows near I dream of the return to normality, the peace and tranquillity, when all that is imposed on my ear drums is the tweeting of birds in the garden the soft gurgle of the coffee maker, the ticking of the clock. Ah what bliss.
Enjoy the silence


Billy Howard-King of the Cops TOTP January 1976

The seventies British pop scene was full of novelty records; one hit wonders who produced records that were toe curlingly inane. Billy Howard's King of the Cops is right at the top of this extinguished pile. Cashing in on the popularity of the various American cop shows, McCloud,Columbo, Hawaii 5-0, Cannon, Ironside and Kojak that were ubiquitous on British TV screens at time, it features some of the most inaccurate 'hilarious' impressions you will ever encounter. I find it hard too believe that anyone bought this drivel, but they clearly did as it reached number 4 in the British charts and stayed in them for 14 weeks. The whole sorry business reminds me of an act that you would see on Phoenix nights.
Man of a thousand faces Billy Howard

Monday, 21 February 2011

Life through a Lense # 4

Thierry Henry February 2007-Reuters
Arsenal's Thierry Henry rises above his onlooking opponent David Bentley. In more ways than one he soars above the opposition.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


You know how some people have a crazy idea? well this lot took their ideas and came up with these rackets! I'm not talking concept albums I'm talking records made in a moment of ego and pretension and It's not just prog rock that have had these vinyl rushes to the head either...
Lou Reed-Metal Machine Music-what the!

Yes-Tales from Topographic oceans-ok stop with the drugs already

Picture Courtesy -link to site.

Emerson Lake & Palmer-Brain Salad Surgery-on and on and on...

Sham 69-That's life-That's tripe
Robbie Williams-Rudebox-oops Justin Timberlake 
beat you to it
Pete Townshend-Psychoderelict-oookay that explains it

Saturday, 19 February 2011


Captain kirk over at 'To Boldly Go' got me thinking about zombies, car chases, Funfair rides, zombie clowns, Bill Murray, Twinkies, mayhem, Woody Harrelson, zombie strippers and love, as you do.

That’s Zombieland directed by Ruben Fleicsher. It’s a lot of fun and, as did Shaun of the dead, inverts the zombie genre in an amusing and adrenaline charged way. It’s a cross between the American road movie, Mad Max2 and the Outlaw Josey Wales, as Harrelson becomes the father figure of a strange extended family in search of a safe haven. Banjos, skillets, shears, guns, bats and other assorted pieces of hardware are used by Harrelson against the zombies that get in the way in his quest for Twinkies.
Throughout the film we are introduced to the golden rules of survival on a zombie infested planet:

Double Tap
Beware of bathrooms
Seat belts
Travel light
Bounty Paper Towels
Bowling Ball
(Don’t) be a hero
Changed in the movie, after it’s defined, to “Be a hero.”
Limber up
Plan your escape aka: When in doubt, know your way out.
The Buddy System
Check the back seat
Enjoy the little things
Swiss Army Knife

Its’ not clever but it is funny, it’s not a masterpiece but it has some terrific moments, it’s not Citizen Kane it’s Zombies losing brains. Very much a popcorn, beer and hot dog movie.
fasten your seat belts

Life through a Lense # 3

Keith Richards NY 1972
A picture that sums up the Rock 'n' roll lifestyle of the late sixties and early seventies. That most Rock 'n' roll of rock 'n' rollers Keef, steps of the Rolling Stones private jet

Friday, 18 February 2011

Curiosity Corner :pop star movies star

Pop stars are prone to getting involved in cinematic shenanigans. Some do okay, but by and large most films they turn their hands to are mediocre at best and unfortunately for their egos their performances range from the awful to the excruciating. Here's a list of ten examples of concept over content and acting that's over the top as opposed to under the radar.

Roger Daltrey in a mental biopic
Sting throws the switches
conceptual chaos 
everyone in it is terrible 
Hazel O'Connor scenery chewing

farcical interludes of 'acting'

David Bowie what were you thinking
jumping Jack trash
Eighties pap stars Debbie Gibson and Tiffany team up in a movie so bad it's good
Truly unutterably awful

Seeing is believing:
Sgt Pepper

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Life through a Lense # 2

Faye Dunaway 1977-Terry O'Neill
The morning after the night before and Faye Dunaway in the early hours of a Los Angeles morning sits back and surveys her kingdom. Oscar won, party over, the future beckons.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Stress in the Workplace

Let's just say that my current work load
is getting a bit much at the moment! One more unneccasary and time consuming task and anything could happen.
"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."
~Bertrand Russell


‘he’s wearing a German helmet’

He was in two of my favourite comedy films and played two of my favourite over the top characters
Not many people know it, but the Fuhrer was a terrific dancer”- Franz Liebkind

 “Vee had better confeerm de fect dat Yunk Frankenshtein iss indeed VALLOWING EEN EES GANDFADDA'S VOOTSHTAPS” -Inspector Kemp: 

He was also memorable for cameos in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, What's up Doc, the paralex view, Night Moves and Radio days.


"Rivals... No one rivals Doom! NO ONE! Doom is supreme! There is no power on earth, no intellect in all creation to equal Mine!"-Victor Von Doom
The excellent Land of Cerpts and Honey 
 is currently running  a selection of Comic book covers featuring Doctor Doom. This got me thinking about this, my favourite ever comic book villain (thanks Cerpts).

Fantastic Four issue 258: Interlude an issue that does not have the FF in it and is entirely about Doom. The definitive day in the life of the man.

Victor Von Doom aka Doctor Doom is the greatest villain in comic books. Clearly the influence on George Lucas’ creation of Darth Vader and based on every dictator from Hitler and before, Doctor Doom is a character who has never been adequately captured on the silver screen. There are elements of The Phantom of The Opera in the tragedy of his birth and subsequent disfigurement and he has pomposity of Mussolini.

What’s truly remarkable about Doom is that he is a mainstream comic book villain that has a level of complexity that was unheard of when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created him in the sixties. His story is a gothic tale and his evil is both deeply seated but with an underlying sense of honour. A grand guignol in pen and ink.
His nemesis, aside from the whole human race, is Reed Richards, leader of The Fantastic Four. Forget the movie; the Fantastic Four are the characters that got me into comic books and for a great deal of people they are the Beatles of the Comic book world with their creators Stan Lee & Jack Kirby the Lennon & McCartney.

Ruler of Eastern European republic Latveria, Doom is a benevolent ruler who has a fist of iron. A scientist, genius and master of the dark arts, Doom is only truly happy when he has the upper hand. Like a scheming political Machiavelli Doom must be obeyed and must have control. But beneath the urge to control is a man who has made huge errors in his scientific experiments and cannot ever forgive Reed Richards for being, for want of a better word, smarter than him. This inferiority is at the root of all he does.
That the Fantastic Four were the vanguard of the modern comic industry is indisputable and therefore a suitable villain needed to be created. Thus was born Doctor Doom.
I still to this day find it hard to understand how Lucasfilm were not sued by Marvel for the blatant plagiarism of Doc Doom when creating the Darth Vader character; Acolyte of dark powers, disfigured, evil, armour and cloak, fits of rage, hatred of nemesis, one and the same.
The enduring appeal of Doom for me is his arrogance, code of honour, intellect, scheming instincts and the feeling that there are always wheels within wheels where he is concerned. A bond villain a political bad guy and a ruthless dictator. Doom is the ultimate bad guy. A tragedy under the layers and a dark mystery at his heart.