Paul Gorman is…

On The Shelf with Värttinä

May 30th, 2011

Värttinä ON THE SHELF from ON THE SHELF on Vimeo.

My friend Yuki mentioned this to me; as Rogerio introduces Finnish vocal trio Värttinä on his online TV show On The Shelf, spot the copy of The Look on conspicuous display behind him.

But Värttinä are the reason I’m posting this bewitching acapella performance.

On The Shelf TV – broadcast from Bar Trench in Shibuya – has been up and running for a couple of months. See more here.

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Andy Dunkley: Wizard chap

May 28th, 2011

//Photo: Doug Smith.//

My obituary for the DJ Andy Dunkley is in the Telegraph today – see here.

This photograph was taken on Hawkwind’s 1972 Space Ritual tour, on which he was the DJ and MC.

Here he is kicking off proceedings (with help from Stacia Blake) for the band which Lemmy described as “like Star Trek with long hair and drugs”:

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I Like A Bit Of A Cavort: Sukia – The Dream Machine

May 27th, 2011

My favourite group of the mid 90s were the antithesis of Britpop, which was alright with me.

Sukia came out of Silverlake with a vaguely sinister vibe, a clutch-bag of odd samples and a whole other set of references, many from Mexican-American trash culture. Their 1997 single The Dream Machine is a jump-up staple.

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I Like A Bit Of A Cavort: Being Boiled

May 20th, 2011

This is a favourite of mine + Mrs G’s for a bit of a mid-to-late evening shape-throwing.

First because it’s a great song.

And then mine because every listen to my copy in the paper sleeve on Fast Product brings back the awe I felt on hearing the delivery of yet more true new music in that strange and wonderful period post-punk – and the befuddlement over the general lyrical drift and the particular reference to sericulture (look it up).

And then Caz’s because a) she likes it and b) her friends threw a party and Martyn Ware DJed and danced with us to it.

He’s a great bloke, and a great DJ.

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Tommy Roberts: Peace ‘n’ love in Paris

May 16th, 2011

//Kleptomania in Rave magazine, October 1967.//

Tommy Roberts reminisces about the look of 1967:

By 1967 Haight Ashbury hippie culture had taken off in London.

At Kleptomania – my boutique around the corner from Carnaby Street at 10 Kingly Street – it was embraced with gusto.

Out went red guardsman’s tunics, Union Jack kipper ties, Victorian-style lacy mini dresses, soul music and anything to do with “Swinging London”.

In came trumpet-sleeved kaftans, Gypsy fringed shawls, psychedelic posters, joss sticks, peace ‘n’ love badges, Frank Zappa and Jefferson Airplane.

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Books: Penguin’s Gormenghast trilogy

May 14th, 2011

A recent conversation with artist John Frankland about the work of Mervyn Peake has brought me back to one of my most treasured possessions: the 1970 Penguin edition of Peake’s masterpiece Gormenghast.

Designed by Robert Hollingsworth, the three illustrated paperbacks Titus Groan (first published in 1946) Gormenghast (1950) and Titus Alone (1959) were housed in a case decorated with Peake drawings.

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I like a bit of a cavort: Let It Rock

May 13th, 2011

Can’t beat a bit of Chuck for a frolic.

Watch him move.

I saw him live a year or so later at The Rainbow. He played a 35-minute set and brought on his daughter for the lovey-dovey finale. It may have been South Of The Border.

When the Teds realised he had vamoosed rather than play an encore they tore up the place.

Twenty-odd years later I was in the green room for an edition of The David Letterman Show which featured him and was shot in London. What struck me was Berry’s bearing and the agile grace with which he moved among the throng of well-wishers and fans.

That and the fact he was wearing the same pair of yellow Lionels I’d seen on him at the Rainbow…

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Stagger Lee selects: A Smashing Indictment Of Character – Slim Cessna’s Auto Club

May 13th, 2011

Here’s another from from Stagger Lee‘s trick bag (click on the title):

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – A Smashing Indictment Of Character (Alternative Tentacles)

Not well know in the UK, which is a shame, this Denver band operate somewhere between the Violent Femmes, The Bad Seeds, The Handsome Family and Th’Legendary Shack Shakers, so we’re talking a whole lot of southern gothic fire’n’brimstone’n’fornicatin’n’whiskey. Probably the best recent band I’ve discovered lately, even though they’ve been around a decade or more.

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The Cowboys came from Colt Studio

May 11th, 2011

//Longhorns Dance by Colt (Jim French) from Manpower! issue 7, 1974.//

My theorising over the roots of the Cowboys t-shirt has uncovered the true source of the main image: a 1969 drawing by the artist Jim French reproduced in a 1974 issue of his magazine Manpower!.

French has an international following for his gay-themed photographic + illustrative work, via his Colt Studio image-bank and work as “Rip Colt” and “Luger”.

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Beatbooks 57: Patti Smith

May 11th, 2011