Paul Gorman is…

Graham Wood on the series of 24 posters inspired by a 1968 design for Oz magazine

Oct 29th, 2013

//Selection of poster prints Graham Wood made for Magick Is Freedom! (After Barney Bubbles)//

Best known as one of the founders of British design collective Tomato, Graham Wood chose a 1968 poster for underground magazine Oz as the wellspring for a series of 24 poster prints.

I corresponded with Wood about the ways in which the original artwork- made by Barney Bubbles and his 60s design partner David Wills with a team of contributors – sparked inspiration for the two dozen A0-size posters, which were exhibited in Stockholm in November 2012.

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The Harder They Come: Chris Salewicz’s excellent documentary

Oct 29th, 2013

//Front cover, The Harder They Come soundtrack, Mango Records, 1973. Design: CCS//

Perry Henzell’s 1972 film The Harder They Come and its accompanying soundtrack cast quite a shadow across popular culture.

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Mister Freedom’s Blouson El Americano: For the homme de goût

Oct 24th, 2013

I’m favouring the indigo corduroy version of the Blouson El Americano, the latest triumph from Man Of The World Christophe Loiron’s label Mister Freedom.

//Christophe Loiron road-tests the blouson//

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What’s the connection between this 30s art exhibition catalogue and this 80s post-punk single?

Oct 22nd, 2013

//Left: Catalogue for Circle: Constructive Art In Britain 1934-40, Kettle's Yard Gallery, 1982/Right: 7in sleeve for Danger/Don't Want To Be Your Shadow, The Psychedelic Furs, CBS, 1982//

Find out here.

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James Last Orchestra takes on Silver Machine, Children Of The Revolution and School’s Out

Oct 21st, 2013

As a follow-up to yesterday’s Hawkwind post here’s the James Last Orchestra taking on the group’s big hit Silver Machine and segue-ing it into T.Rex’s Children Of The Revolution and Alice Cooper’s School’s Out.

Fun facts: Last’s nickname is “Hansi” (he was born Hans Last). He has sold more than 70 million records in his career.

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Flashback to Hawkwind + Pink Fairies at The Roundhouse 1975 as Nik Turner’s trademark claim sparks hostilities

Oct 18th, 2013

//Top: Stacia Blake weaving her magic onstage at The Roundhouse in 1975. Photo: Paul Apperley. Above: Peter Lavery's photo of Russell Hunter from the insert in the Pink Fairies' 1973 album Kings Of Oblivion. Posted on the Facebook Portobello Shuffle group by Ian Nottnotw Edmondson//

Sad to witness Hawkwind, the great British musical force which has carved out a unique position outside of the mainstream music business over several decades, dragged into a tawdry row regarding ownership of the group’s name.

The dispute has been sparked by  saxophonist/flautist/sometime frontman Nik Turner. It seems he is trademarking the group’s name as a touring entity in the US, even though he hasn’t been a member for a long time.

Turner was in the line-up during Hawkwind’s greatest period, 1970-76, and returned sporadically until a parting of the ways with Dave Brock, generally acknowledged as Hawkwind’s founder and the band’s one constant, at the helm for all 44 years of its existence.

If scans of signed US documents circulated online prove to be authentic, Turner’s registration in the US – where he has just toured under the banner Nik Turner’s Hawkwind – denies the existence of any other entity of that name operating in the field of live performance. This undercuts his claims in the American press that he wants to spread peace and harmony by invoking Hawkwind’s name and has enraged a section of the fan base.

Brock meanwhile has cancelled his Hawkwind’s American tour on the basis that he – at 72, a year younger than Turner – is suffering from a stress-related illness as result of the dispute.

//Barney Bubbles poster for Sunday bill at The Roundhouse, 1975//

//I went with my friend Matthew Cang. He kept his ticket//

This is all a long way from the relative harmony in the ranks when I fell under their spell as a teenager. I saw Hawkwind a few times, at the Edmonton Sundown or the Dagenham Roundhouse in north-east London and at a free festival in Harlow New Town, Essex, but one particular concert in February 1975 when the ensemble played Camden Town’s Roundhouse with the Pink Fairies stays in the memory.

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Jeremy Deller’s BBC film for All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

Oct 11th, 2013

Artist Jeremy Deller was commissioned to make a film by the BBC to coincide with the opening of his exhibition All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, a peroration on the consequences for Britain of the advent and aftermath of the Industrial Revolution.

The film underlines Deller’s deft application of juxtaposition. Eight year old primary school pupils read 19th century transcripts of workhouse children of the same age and former pop stars Jarvis Cocker and Noddy Holder and actress Maxine Peake intone from passages of contemporary Victorian reports on social conditions in their native locales (respectively Sheffield, the Black Country and Manchester).

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Jane Horrocks’ version of Joy Division’s Isolation to be followed by Hawkwind + Cabaret Voltaire covers

Oct 6th, 2013

//Photo: Dylan Vivian//

I’m particularly keen on Jane Horrocks’ recently released version of the Joy Division song Isolation; Horrocks’ vocal talents are widely recognised but I didn’t appreciate her feel for rock and post-punk until I saw her perform a storming Heart Of Glass at a party a couple of years back.

Rat Scabies was drumming that night and is on this Joy Division cover, which also features latterday PiL bassist Scott Firth and producer “Kipper”.

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Glam! The Performance Of Style at Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz

Oct 4th, 2013

//Front cover of booklet for the Linz show features this 1973 Karl Stoecker portrait of Brian Eno in Roxy Music stage costume designed by Carol McNicholl//

Glam! The Performance Of Style – the exhibition which locates early 70s glam rock in the context of fine art and the interplay between “high” and mass culture – is opening at the Lentos Kunstmuseum in Linz, Austria later this month.

I was a consultant to Glam!’s curator Darren Pih of Tate Liverpool, where the show opened at the beginning of this year before moving on to Frankfurt’s Schirn Kunsthalle for the summer.

//The Let It Rock guitar mirror as exhibited at Glam! in Frankfurt. Photo: Andrei Luca//

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