Categories
Music Prog

Legendary Gig or “Suburban myth” – Pink Floyd @ New Earswick Folk Hall, 1967

Pink Floyd in 1967

I live in a very small village in the suburbs of York called New Earswick. New Earswick was built by Quaker chocolate magnate, Joseph Rowntree, located conveniently for the workers employed in his nearby factory. It is what was known as a Model Village and to a certain extent, the religious beliefs of Rowntree were enforced across the village. The most obvious way that this manifests, even in 2020, is the way that alcohol cannot be sold within the borders of the New Earswick. There are no pubs and the local shops do not serve alcohol. The Folk Hall (pictured above) does have an alcohol bar in it’s function room, though this is only open to private functions.

New Earswick Folk Hall

It is a well-known and popularly told story that during the 1960’s, Pink Floyd performed a gig at the Folk Hall in New Earswick. After hearing about this for years I have decided to try and find out some more information about this gig to write about it.

The first thing a cursory Google search yields is an article in the York Press from 2015. This article is advertising a 1960’s themed evening which local DJ, Gary Hall, was putting on at the Folk Hall in 2015. It does name the club night which bands played at during the 1960’s as the Tin Chicken Club, but a Google search for that came back empty. Despite the pride of place given to a photo of Pink Floyd at the top of the article, Pink Floyd are only mentioned in passing here. The main focus of Mr. Hall’s recollections is actually the Procol Harum gig which also took place here:

“I was just that bit younger than the people the club was catering for,” says Gary Hall, who lived nearby.

“I was aware that Procol Harum was number one and we came to listen to them from outside. I remember riding my bike up to where the link road is now and seeing people queuing from there to get in.”

Procol Harum in 1967

Pink Floyd are then mentioned as having played the Folk Hall “in all their loon-panted, psychedelic glory, complete with that famous kaleidoscopic oil projector light show.” Unfortunately no details regarding a date of the gig is given. Some interesting information is also given here: the venue also hosted a concert by The Move and there were rumours that Ike & Tina Turner were “booked in”.

Ike & Tina Turner, 1973

At the top of the Press article is a small photographic slideshow featuring five photographs. Three of them are just photographs of the Folk Hall, one is a stock photo of Pink Floyd and the other is grainy, indistinct photo captioned “Pink Floyd in action at the Folk Hall” (Pictured below). In fairness, it’s so blurry that you’d be hard pushed to confirm that this is in fact a photo of Pink Floyd but I’m happy to take them at their word. I have been in the Folk Hall many times but cannot make out enough of the interior in the photograph to confirm whether this was taken in there or not.

Grainy photo from York Press, 2015. Captioned on their website: “Pink Floyd in action at
the Folk Hall”

After this I decided to try Googling “Pink Floyd New Earswick Date”. I was given the date 21st October 1967 which came from this enthusiastically compiled but amateur list of York gigs. The Pink Floyd gig, again, only gets a cursory mention with no real detail. By this point I was starting to despair. Why was their no information about this? Surely someone there would’ve wrote about it. Or journalists maybe attended.

So now we come to the first piece of evidence to cast doubt on the whole idea that Pink Floyd played a gig in New Earswick at all. Armed with the date which the Folk Hall gig supposedly took place, I googled “Pink Floyd 21 October 1967”. This lead me to the Pink Floyd Archives concerts page. When I scrolled down to the 21st October 1967 I found something interesting. Pink Floyd were indeed in York on this date. Sadly however, the venue listed in the archives was not New Earswick Folk Hall but University of York, Hesslington, York, Yorkshire, England. So far, I have not been able to confirm this venue either. The Pink Floyd Archive is a fan-produced page and isn’t necessarily 100% reliable. Perhaps someone could have reported the venue wrong. I found that Pink Floyd did in fact play at the St. Valentines Dance in the Junior Common Room of Derwent College (part of the University of York) on 15th February 1969 (flyer depicted below). Perhaps, not knowing the venue of the 1967 York gig, the archivists decided to use the same venue as the 1969 gig they played around this time, for completion’s sake. I just don’t know.

Flyer from Valentines Dance, Derwent College, York University, 15th February 1969

So that’s where I am with this. I am continuing to search for more information and would definitely be very interested to hear from anyone who might have been there at the gig. Either at York University or New Earswick Folk Hall. If you have any information, please contact me.

It’s starting to look like the whole legend may actually a “suburban myth”.

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Categories
Electronic Music Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z) – Death In Vegas – Dirt

Day 4 (D). Crunchy breakbeats, heavy guitar riffs and unusual vocal samples are the order of the day on Death In Vegas’ 1996 single Dirt. I remember first hearing it on a CD which came free with Vox Magazine and absolutely loving it.

As well as the official video, I also present to you an excellent fan made video I found while looking for it. Enjoy.

This is one thing that I was gonna wait a while before we talked about. Maybe we’ll talk about it now so you can think about it. Because you all, we all have to make some kind of plans for ourselves. It’s a free concert from now on…

But the one major thing you have to remember tonight when you back up to the woods to go to sleep or if you stay here, is that the man next to you is your brother and you damn well better treat each other that way, cause if you don’t, then we blow the whole thing, but we’ve got it right there.

What’s that spell!
“fuck!”
What’s that spell!
“fuck!”
What’s that spell!
“fuck!”
What’s that spell!
“fuck!”
What’s that spell!
“fuck!”

“Gimme an “F”
“F”
“Gimme a “U”
“U”
“Gimme a “C”
“C”
Gimme a “K”
“K”
What’s that spell!…?

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Categories
Art Glitch Art Visual

???

I found this through a Facebook group, Glitch Artists Collective. I have no background information about this at all but it’s wonderful. It’s completely random. Every time you reload the page you get a completely unique webpage. If anyone knows anything about it, I’d love to hear from you.

Click the link. Click it now. Thank me later. https://yyyyyyy.info/

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Categories
Music

John Peel Sessions

A blogger on Blogspot by the name of Dave Strickson (Formally Known As The Bollocks) has just posted this huge list of John Peel Sessions with links to YouTube clips for them all. Compiling this must have taken a long time and a lot of work and for that I am thankful. I have noted a few sessions are missing, namely Autechre & Boards of Canada, though they were released commercially by the artists themselves.

So whether you’re looking for that 1919 session from 1983 or You’ve Got Foetus On Your Breath from the 1982, this blog has you covered.

I’ve yet to go through the majority of this (I don’t even know where to start) but here’s a couple of my previous favourites, in the interest of sharing some music with this post.

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Categories
Facebook Challenges Literature

10 days/10 books Facebook challenge

After enjoying the 10 days/10 albums Facebook challenge, I was pleased to be nominated for the 10 days/10 books challenge. I really tried hard here, to think of the books which have had significant effects on my reading habits. I started with the first book I remember been introduced to by my first secondary school English teacher. In hindsight (which is 20/20), I should have perhaps included both The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend & Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl. I remember been particularly fond of these two book during my time at primary school.

Note: The cover images presented here are from the editions I personally read (or read first in cases where I’ve read them multiple times).

Further Note: I have not included any poetry in this list as I interpreted the challenge to mean 10 novels. I am now considering a 10 days/10 poems challenge too.

Day 1: Truckers by Terry Pratchett

I remember being given this to read in year seven by my English teacher, whose name I cannot remember. It was an excellent introduction to the worlds of Terry Pratchett (despite being in a different universe to his hugely popular Discworld series). I don’t remember the details of the book particularly well, which is not surprising as it was around 26-27 years ago that I read it, but I do remember taking the sequel, Diggers, out of the library and then the disappointment that they didn’t have the third and final instalment Wings. I remember ordering Wings and it taking several weeks to arrive. It was in these several weeks that I gave The Colour of Magic a try and my intense love for Pratchett’s works was cemented.

Day 2: Glue by Irvine Welsh

Glue is a book set in the same universe as Welsh’s Trainspotting, which was adapted into an incredibly successful film in the mid ‘90’s. Several Trainspotting characters make small cameos or are mentioned in conversation between other characters. The book follows a group of four lads over four decades and chronicles their friendship through the good times and the bad. The book, like other Irvine Welsh books I’ve read, is written in a combination of standard British English & Scots. This was my first introduction to Scots, and I was surprised to learn that it is recognised as an independent language, distinct from English. It feels familiar enough to read to English speakers because it originates from the same precursor languages and uses the same grammatical structures & systems. I even find myself, after reading a Welsh novel, thinking in Scots for a few weeks.

Day 3: The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

When I was a teenager my mum was convinced that I’d like Stephen King and wanted me to try one of his books. She was aware of my love for Science Fiction and thought that this bizarre Sci-Fi/Horror mashup might be the perfect gateway for me into the hyperdetailed worlds that Stephen King creates. She wasn’t wrong. I was instantly won over by the creeping terror of the progressive mutations caused by exposure to the spaceship and the delightfully ramshackle creations that, main character Bobbi, makes out of junk and batteries. From dimensional teleport machines to “ray guns” made from children’s water pistols, I was blown away by King’s imagination. I have particularly vivid memories (and nightmares) about the sentry robot she creates from a Coca-Cola vending machine, particularly the scene where it kills a man by repeatedly throwing itself at him until he is dead. Covered in gore from the murder, the vending machine continues with its patrol. Horrifying.

Day 4: Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac

I’d already read On the Road, and it could very well have made this list, but I think Desolation Angels both stuck with me and influenced my own art more. I loved the bleak but inviting loneliness of the start of the book as Kerouac is writing about his time as a fire lookout on the peak of Mount Desolation. The isolation seemed to be tempered nicely by the immense natural beauty. I almost envied him, if I’m honest. After the lookout section, Kerouac details his various adventures catching up with his friends in the beat scene (albeit thinly veiled by pseudonyms and the occasional slip up which both Kerouac & the editors missed) like William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady & Gregory Corso.

Day 5: Roadside Picnic by Boris & Arkady Strugatsky

Roadside Picnic is a dark and gritty sci-fi novel which introduced some amazing new tropes & archetypes to science fiction. Most importantly, the profession of the Stalker. The stalker is a person who, legally or illegally (illegally in the case of Roadside Picnic’s main character, Red Schuhart), spends their time scavenging for exotic technology in ‘the Zone’. ‘The Zone’ is an area which was visited by an alien species and has now become infected by the visitation. Physics in ‘the Zone’ do not match the physics of the outside world and the aliens have left many artefacts behind which Stalkers can sell for a lot of money. Their profession is both illegal & profitable. The idea of a Stalker has been used in various other media such as the videogames of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series (which transposes the alien visitation to a post-incident Chernobyl) & the novel’s in the Metro series by Dmitry Glukhovsky (which are perhaps better known for the spinoff series of videogames). The 1979 film Stalker, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, is loosely based on the novel, with a screenplay written by the Strugatsky brothers.

Day 6: Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson

This drug-fuelled rampage across the Nevada desert and Las Vegas was an eye-opening book for me. I had already seen the Terry Gilliam movie starring Johnny Depp & Benicio del Toro when I read the book. I read the book in one night with no sleep. I can neither confirm nor deny that I was high on LSD at the time. I may or may not have taken it before going to stay over at my then-girlfriend’s house. As we were quite young and she lived with her parents, we slept in separate rooms and I may or may not have been incredibly ‘up’ from the LSD. Left alone in her room I found Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas on her bookshelf and my love for Thompson began. It was an intense night; I don’t mind admitting.

Day 7: Time by Stephen Baxter

Time is the first book in the Manifold Space trilogy. This cosmic tale is pretty high concept stuff. Genetically engineered, super intelligent squid to pilot spacecraft; network of portals which carry people between universes; universes evolved stars to turn into black holes, which is how universes reproduce; universes without blackholes are evolutionary dead ends; “Feynman radio”, which can pick up signals sent backwards through time from the far future; last vestiges of life in the universe clinging on amid the heat death by farming energy from black holes.

This book was a huge influence on the music and poetry I was creating at the time I made it and this poem is just one of many which this book inspired.

Day 8: Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

This terrifying look into the mind of a heroin addict is dark and uncomfortable to read. It is, however, also a pleasure to read. The stream of consciousness effect is used to brutal effect here and it explores the main theme through a broken, twisted, almost sci-fi narrative. Legend stated that as Burroughs was typing Naked Lunch in his apartment in Tangier, he just threw each finished page on the floor. Later when Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg & Allan Ansen visited him, they helped him organise these typewritten pages in to the 200-page Interzone manuscript, which eventually became Naked Lunch.

This was part of the legendary Word Hoard which also went on to provide raw material for The Nova Trilogy.

Day 9: The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F Hamilton

The Reality Dysfunction is the 1200+ page first volume of an epic trilogy. This is where space opera and hard sci-fi collide, head on. This is a book about colonising new worlds, sentient & organic living star ships, salvage of extinct races, cyberization and a mish mash of all of the sci-fi tropes you know and love, particularly the “scruffy looking nerf herder” smuggler/salvage agent lead character. The central plot revolves around the mysterious origins of a long extinct (or at least vanished) alien civilisation and what it means for us, humanity. There is an event which all of alien races encountered in the novel have been through which humanity is only just beginning to experience. Any more information than that would constitute spoilers.

Day 10: Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds

In a near future, where the world is run by a computer known as THE MECHANISM, violent crime is non-existent. Humanity, with Africa as the world’s leading superpower, has repaired the climate and begun to colonise much of the solar system. The central characters journey to Mars in this book was incredibly influential to me. I wrote & performed a conceptual piece of electronic music about it in 2013, at a community music event with the theme of “journeys”. I found the imagery of the several month trip in cryosleep and the Martian railroad particularly evocative, basing the two longest sections on those sequences in the book. It’s a rare example of a science fiction novel with no real violence and only mild scenes of personal conflict. A positive future, a near utopia (albeit with a dark undertone) which makes a refreshing change in a genre crowded with dystopias.

Images courtesy of Goodreads

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Categories
Music Prog Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Pink Floyd – Cymbaline

Day 3 (C) and it’s a beautiful and oft overlooked Pink Floyd song from their 1969 soundtrack to the film, More. I really enjoy the gentle, plodding verses and the contrasting soaring choruses. It gives a melodically psychedelic experience. It is also an example of What Kurt Cobain famously called a “quiet-loud” formula decades before Nirvana (or the Pixies) made it famous.

The path you tread is narrow
And the drop is shear and very high
The ravens all are watching
From a vantage point nearby
Apprehension creeping
Like a tube-train up your spine
Will the tightrope reach the end
Will the final couplet rhyme

And it’s high time
Cymbaline
It’s high time
Cymbaline
Please wake me

A butterfly with broken wings
Is falling by your side
The ravens all are closing in
And there’s nowhere you can hide
Your manager and agent
Are both busy on the phone
Selling coloured photographs
To magazines back home

And it’s high time
Cymbaline
It’s high time
Cymbaline
Please wake me

The lines converging where you stand
They must have moved the picture plane
The leaves are heavy around your feet
You hear the thunder of the train
And suddenly it strikes you
That they’re moving into range
Doctor Strange is always changing size

And it’s high time
Cymbaline
It’s high time
Cymbaline
Please wake me

And it’s high time
Cymbaline
It’s high time
Cymbaline
Please wake me

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Categories
RPG Videogames

Scruffy Undertale Adventures (Part 5) – Lore

The following screenshots illustrate the background lore to Undertale.

The various monsters I have spared throughout the game came and told me the lore of the underworld in a series of random encounters. Seriously, check out these monster designs.

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Categories
Indie Rock Music Poetry Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): The Cribs – Be Safe (feat. Lee Ranaldo)

Day 2 (B) of the Song of the Day challenge.

Be Safe is a bit of a weird one. It’s a collaboration between Wakefield indie rockers The Cribs & Sonic Youth guitar maestro Lee Ranaldo. Only Ranaldo isn’t playing guitar. He’s giving a spoken word performance of one of his excellent poems.

There isn’t an official video for Be Safe, and rather than just link to the official audio I found this excellent fan made video. It’s perfect to me.

One of those fucking, awful black days
When nothing is pleasing and everything that happens
Is an excuse for anger
An outlet for emotions stockpiled, an arsenal, an armor

These are the days when I hate the world
Hate the rich, hate the happy
Hate the complacent, the TV watchers
Beer drinkers, the satisfied ones

Because I know I can be all of those little hateful things
And then I hate myself for realizing that
There’s no preventative, directive or safe approach for living
We each know our own fate

We know from our youth, how to be treated
How we’ll be received, how we shall end
These things don’t change

You can change your clothes
Change your hairstyle, your friends, cities, continents
But sooner or later your own self will always catch up
Always it waits in the wingsIdeas swirl but don’t stick
They appear but then run off like the rain on the windshield

One of those rainy day car rides, my head implodes
The atmosphere in this car, a mirror of my skull
Wet, damp, windows dripping and misted with cold
Walls of grey, nothing good on the radio, not a thought in my head

I know a place we can go and I’m falling
Love so hard that you wish you were ten

Lets take life and slow it down incredibly slow
Frame by frame
With two minutes that take ten years to live out
Yeah, let’s do that

Telephone poles like praying mantis against the sky
Metal arms outstretched
So much land traveled, so little sense made of it
It doesn’t mean a thing, all this land laid out behind us

I’d like to take off into these woods and get good and lost for a while
I’m disgusted with petty concerns
Parking tickets, breakfast specials
Does someone just have to carry this weight?

Abstract typography, methane covenant
Linear gospel, Nashville sales lady, stocky emissary
Torturous lice, mad Elizabeth

Chemotherapy bullshit

I know a place we can go and I’m falling

The light within you shines like a diamond mine
Like an unarmed walrus, like a dead man face down on the highway
Like a skunk, eating it’s own tail
Steam turbine, frog farm

Two full closets burst open in disarray, soap bubbles in the sun
Hospital death bed, red convertible, shopping list, blow job
Deaths head, devils dancing, bleached white buildings, memories 
Movements, the movie, unfeeling, unreeling, about to begin

I know a place we can go and I’m falling
Love so hard that you wish you were ten

I’ve seen your hallway, you’re a darn call away
I’ve hear your stairs creak, I can fix my mind on your yes
And your no, I’ll film your face today in the sparkling canals
All red, yellow, blue, green brilliance and silver Dutch reflection

Racing thoughts, racing thoughts, all too real
You’re moving so fast now, I can’t hold your image
This image I have of your face by the window
Me standing beside you, arm on your shoulder
A catalog of images, flashing glimpses then gone again

Untethered to the posters soak in me, every clear afternoon now
I’ll think of you, up in the air, twisting your heel
Your knees up around me, my face in your hair
You scream so well, your smile so loud, it still rings in my ears

I know a place we can go and I’m falling
Love so hard that you wish you were ten

Imitation, distant, tired of longing, clean my teeth
Stay the course, hold the wheel, steer on to freedom
Open all the boxes, open all the boxes
Open all the boxes, open all the boxes

Times Square Midday, newspaper buildings
News headlines going around, you watch as they go
And hope there’s some good ones, those tree shadows in the park
They’re all whispering, shake some leaves

Around six p.m., shadows across the cobblestones
Girl in front of bathroom mirror, she slow and careful
Paints her face green and mask like
Like my cheese, portrait with green stripe

Long shot through apartment window
A monologue on top but no girl in shot
The light within me shines like a diamond mine

Like an unarmed walrus
Like a dead man face down on the highway
Like a snake eating its own tail
A steam turbine, frog pond

Two full closets burst open in disarray, soap bubbles in the sun
Hospital death bed, red convertible, shopping list, blow job
Deaths head, devils dancing, bleached white buildings, memories 
Movements, the movie, unreeling, about to begin

Oh, great by me
Yeah? Mine were alright, wasn’t my best one but who cares?
That’s the spirit

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Categories
Politics Videogames

Tonight We Riot

I haven’t played enough of the new game, Tonight We Riot, by Pixel Pusher Union 512 to review it or say much about it. What I can say is that it is a pixelated side scrolling brawler where your character leads a gang of workers through armies of riot police. Utilising such tools as bricks, molotov cocktails & work tools (ie. wrench as a melee weapon), the aim is to liberate as many workers from capitalist oppression as possible while keeping as many of them alive as possible. It is a game which is unashamedly and openly left wing and is a welcome antidote to the neoliberal, imperial fantasies that most modern games are.

To get an idea, here are screenshots from the opening cutscene/slideshow:

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Categories
Folk Literature Music Poetry

“False Prophet” – Bob Dylan

My review of Bob Dylan’s new single, False Prophet.

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Despite late-night speculation over on my Blog a couple of nights ago, Dylan today released a new single, not an album. He did, however, confirm via a Tweet that his new album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, will be released on 19th June.

“False Prophet” follows Dylan’s current trend for sparse, minimal arrangements but the sound palette is very different. Consisting of a snarling, overdriven guitar and more rock-style drumming, “False Prophet” has a sleazy, blues-rock vibe, calling to mind smoke-filled pool halls and bourbon on the rocks.

Lyrically, Dylan seems to be denying that he is the titular false prophet while framing himself as a kind of underdog hero. He declares himself “the enemy of treason” and boldly declares “you girls mean business and I do too”. He’s “first among equals/second to none/last of the best/you can bury the rest”. A sliver of the carefully choreographed arrogance of the early…

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