“RockField – The Studio On The Farm” Documentary To Air On BBC Channels!

The documentary on the famous Monmouthshire recording studio is set to air simultaneously on BBC Two Wales and BBC Four on Saturday, July 18th at 9pm BST.

Below is a trailer on the documentary – with a tiny snippet of Jim discussing Simple Minds’ meeting with David Bowie and Iggy Pop while the band were there recording second album Real To Real Cacophony in 1979.

I have been hoping this would be getting a UK airing at some point. Really looking forward to this one.

An Independent Socialist – A World In Gray

Please do not be fooled by the blurb you see attached to the video! There really isn’t too much talk about the then imminent Scottish Independence referendum. It really is all about the remarkable Alasdair Gray. A man I wish I had been aware of, learned about and began to have some kind of – albeit without any actual personal interaction with – affinity for while he was still living.

There is a sadness I feel that, having moved to this amazing city just a few short weeks before, that Alasdair left us at the end of December in 2019.

Yes, you have to pay to watch the film – documentary – but if you love art, love the murals around Glasgow, have ever read Lanark or 1982 Janine and loved them – see that mural at Hillhead subway station each day (I can’t tell you how many times I have passed it by already and never realised it was there – with great shame) …

Just watch it.

Even as I am still finding my way through Lanark, I take in all the places I recognise. A number of them are local or not very far away. I even found myself reading a letter to a local paper he had submitted about wondering what was to become of Sighthill (the general area, not the cemetery – that wasn’t the topic of Gray’s letter) It is literally just up the road. Just go down to the end of the adjacent street, past the bowling green, round the corner, past the speedway track – up Finlas Street turning into Carlisle Street, until it meets Keppochill Road – and there you are. Sighthill Cemetery. Three weeks ago I didn’t even know it existed! There is NOTHING to mark it out on Google Maps. A few times coming down the A803 from the city centre by car or on public transport I could see there were some graves but I had assumed it was attached to a churchyard – not an actual full cemetery. A cemetery so vast that – as far as I am aware, only the Necropolis is larger (although trying to confirm this with research would indicate Sighthill is larger in acreage so I am a bit confused). Needless to say it is a large expanse and perplexing not to be revealed on a map!

Gray within the pages of Lanark seems to mention a street nearby, Ashfield Street. There is only one Ashfield Street in all of Glasgow. A few Ashfield Roads but no “street”. Only this one. It must be it! And there is talk of Riddrie where he grew up and the area that is now know as Robroyston but was once Garngad – all not terribly far away, further over to the east and north of us on the other side of Bishopbriggs.

But I shall stop waffling and let you watch it! I found it enthralling.

Rockfield Documentary To Premier at SXSW in March

A documentary (featuring contributions from Jim and Charlie) on the Monmouthshire countryside’s world famous Rockfield studio (where Real To Real Cacophony, Empires And Dance and Graffiti Soul were recorded) has been made and will be debuting at SXSW Festival next month.

You can watch the trailer below.

Hopefully beyond the premier screening, it will get a distribution beyond that.

I took these two screenshots from within the documentary trailer. I didn’t even know these kind of photos existed of their time recording there.

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New Wave: Dare To Be Different On DVD

A great documentary about Long Island radio station WLIR that broadcasted from 1959 until it was forced to close from having its licence revoked in 1987.

A champion of the second British invasion of the early 1980’s due to an overhaul and change in musical output. The station was very popular for those wanting exposure to new music, esp. the stuff that was being shipped and imported from across the Atlantic.

Many artists from the 70s and 80s music scene were interviewed for the documentary, among them Billy Idol, Midge Ure, Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones, Curt Smith, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, Fred Schneider, Mike Peters, Tom Bailey, Lol Tolhurst, Nick Rhodes and Mike Score – to name a few.

In amongst those interviewed was Jim. There were just two small snippets of him talking and New Gold Dream was used as an opening musical introduction to the backstory and brief history of Long Island and the beginnings of what was then LIR – Long Island Radio.

Here are those snippets for SM fans to enjoy. I do highly recommend viewing the whole documentary if you get the chance. I’ve been waiting months to watch it myself, having to wait for its release onto DVD.

How Green Was My Valley?

I rarely put any true personal content on here…and…something so “off topic” but this blew me away, discovering this. I’ve only just started watching it…but it is the ACTUAL Peter Weir. THE actual Peter Weir…making a satire and documentary about the place I grew up in! Like…WOW!

And, yes…that stigma was VERY real! And to a degree the “oppression” was self-perpetuating. You felt as if you didn’t deserve to try and improve yourself. That you had to put up with your lot. That you lived in a disadvantaged area, so therefore…

Aspirations are not for you.

And, to this day, the stigma still continues. In recent years I have still had it targeted at me. A few Simple Minds fans I have had passing dealings with…Australians…who know the history and reputation of where I am from…passing judgement.

I always saw that as quite a strange twist of irony that a fellow SM fan would be so judgemental of someone coming from a background they perceived to be more disadvantaged than theirs…taking on some air of superiority. When, in fact, a background like mine is not too dissimilar to that of Jim or Charlie’s. The irony of these peoples’ sanctimonious and judgemental attitude never lost on me.

But one I equally tried hard to never let unnerve me for too long. I will not let the area in which I was raised wholly define me. It is a part of me, yes. And I am proud of where I came from. In many ways I had a wonderful childhood…and I doubt I would feel any better about it had I had the “fortune” of bearing to have grown up around the inner suburbs of Sydney, or along the northern or southern shores of the city.

Anyway…here is the film on YouTube. An interesting part of my personal history for anyone remotely interested in it. I am off to finish watching it. I am only several minutes in and finding it fascinating.

Kiwi Envy

A fantastic opportunity…but I do wonder whether Liam is any relation to Lily Warring? The little cynic in me says “Yeah, because you just…contact the band and they say ‘yeah, sure’, just like that!” These things NEVER happen!

You’d NEVER get the lead singer (and head diva) of a band doing stuff like that…not with a total stranger. I mean, it would be like, say, I take up art and start doing these pieces and show said singer/diva (or at least kid myself at the time it was the singer/diva seeng them) and he shows an interest in them.

Nah.

Yes! I freely admit…I am envious (I am almost black the shade of green is that dark)…esp. as if I think back to February, it reminds me of New Zealand and Wall Of Love. All those hopes and dreams got reignited.

But, anyway. This is Liam’s thing. And he won an award for this, so it’s awesome for him. I hope it’ll be the start of something wonderful for him. God knows some of us could do with that kick through the door, initially.

I’ve linked to the clip here, I haven’t even been able to watch it myself, yet. Bloody YouTube and its thing in which it doesn’t add the required elements for a clip to be played back on mobile devices. Pisses me off. Thanks YT!

And you can read more of Liam’s documentary here…

Gary Numan – Android In La La Land

Sir does like to give me a kick up the bum with things sometimes…by accident, of course. He’s not specifically targeting me (it’s not as if we’re friends or anything…as much as I’d love to fantasise, dream, pretend and delude myself)…but I really have been wanting to catch up with this documentary for some time.

And Mr Numan was appreciative of the words from Sir too 🙂