31 October 2012

Electric Hell!

I can't think of a better way to celebrate tonight's festivities than by spending an hour listening to Gibbet Of The Damned; a mixtape courtesy of the never not brilliant Cottage Of Electric Hell. The mix was originally created for Six Ton Armor and if psych is your thing you should head over there right away. Check out their Soundcloud too, it's chock full o' nuggets.

Goodnight... if you can!

30 October 2012

The Bond Correspondence

The Bond Correspondence (2008)Lucy Fleming embarks upon a quest to discover more about her mysterious uncle Ian, creator of James Bond. Sir Roger Moore plays Ian Fleming's voice.

29 October 2012

Kissy Suzuki

Illustration by Michael Gillette.
You only live twice:
Once when you’re born
And once when you look death in the face.

You Only Live Twice (1990). Adapted by Michael Bakewell; Performed by a full cast with  Michael Jayston as Bond.


28 October 2012

Ready When You Are, J.B.

"John Barry: The Lost Tapes (2012). One of Britain's premier film composers, John Barry was renowned for his scores for the early James Bond films as well as Midnight Cowboy, Out of Africa and Dances With Wolves. The winner of five Oscars, Barry who passed away last year was a private man - but 'John Barry - The Lost Tapes offers a revealing insight into his working life

Author and broadcaster Eddi Fiegel, during the course of many extensive interviews with John for her biography, also recorded a conversation for BBC radio, which was never broadcast and considered lost - until now.

Barry is a vivid raconteur and recounted the first decade of his career, from fledgling pop musician and producer to Oscar winning-composer. He also gave me some rare insights into his song writing craft.

He talked fondly about his early days with his instrumental group The John Barry Seven, his recordings with Adam Faith, the first venture into film and his remarkable recordings on the James Bond movies. With the success of Goldfinger in 1964, barely a week seemed to go by without John receiving a new film commission. It was a prolific time for him and, over the next two years, his scores included Thunderball, Richard Lester's The Knack and The Ipcress File starring a young Michael Caine. The pair became firm friends.

John's Oscar winning score for Born Free made him an international figure and the royal screening of the film saw a leading British actor 'throw a fit' when upstaged in front of the Royal family.

27 October 2012

Pussy Galore

Illustration by Michael Gillette.
...Goldfinger could not have known that high tension was Bond's natural way of life and that pressure and danger relaxed him.

Sir Ian McKellenToby Stephens and Rosamund Pike lead this full-cast adaptation of Ian Fleming's 1959 novel Goldfinger faithfully dramatised by Archie Scottney and directed by Martin Jarvis (2010). 


26 October 2012

Tatiana Romanova

Illustration by Michael Gillette

"Red wine with fish. Well that should have told me something.

Toby Stephens reprises his role as Bond with Mark Gatiss and John Sessions in From Russia With Love (2012).

25 October 2012

The Last Englishman

"James Bond, the Last Englishman (2008). As part of the Ian Fleming centenary, Prof. David Cannadine sets James Bond and his creator in their historical context. He suggests that Bond was popular not just because he was sexy and suave - he was seen as a consoling fantasy for a country that had lost an Empire but not yet found a role in the world.

24 October 2012

Honey Rider

Illustration by Michael Gillette.
"All the greatest men are maniacs. They are possessed by a mania which drives them forward towards their goal. The great scientists, the philosophers, the religious leaders - all maniacs. What else but a blind singleness of purpose could have given focus to their genius, would have kept them in the groove of purpose. Mania ... is as priceless as genius.

Toby Stephens as Bond and David Suchet as Dr No (2008). 


23 October 2012

Vesper Lynd

Illustration by Michael Gillette.
A dry Martini,' he said. 'One. In a deep champagne goblet.' ...Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?

Alex Jennings reads Ian Fleming's Casino Royale (2009).

Illustration by Jeff Chapman.


OST: BBC Records and Tapes Special

Here's a great way to while away a couple of hours. Robin The Fog took over hosting duties on Jonny Trunk's OST show this week on London's Resonance FM. The theme was BBC Records and the show includes a few radiophonic favourites you can still find at Ripping Yarns, along with plenty more oddities to keep things interesting. I love the bits there BBC Sound Effects Vol.13 pops in and out of the mix. Full description, tracklist and HQ mp3 download can be obtained from Robin's blog here.

17 October 2012

KPM All Stars: Grandstand

I witnessed of the greatest gigs in my gig going career this summer, all the way up there with Ennio Morricone at The Barbican, Man or Astroman? at the Highbury Garage, or AC/DC at Castle Donnington. This clip is part of the encore, with Keith Mansfield, Alan Hawkshaw, John Cameron, James Clarke, Duncan Lamont and Brian Bennett all on stage together. So much love in the room. Thanks to Funky Frolic for spotting the clip and to Herr Döktor for grabbing our tickets.

9 October 2012

Monkey Magic

Monkey Magic: Music From BBC TV Series Monkey by Godiego. Auntie Beeb released two singles of the Monkey theme with different tracks on the B-side. I decided to stick them both together along with a rip of the broadcast version with that ever quotable voice over. If I can ever get my sweaty mitts on the full soundtrack lp you can be sure I'll be posting that too. For more on this classic show go here and here. Then go watch some Monkey, it's fab, not to mention wicked, skill and indeed ace.

dl: HQ mp3 or FLAC

4 October 2012

Children Of The Stones

This time in the Ripping Yarns recommended listening corner it's a bit of a no-brainer. In Happy Days: Children Of The Stones comedian Stuart Lee returns to Radio 4 to give a highly enjoyable overview of the classic HTV show made for children in 1977. I was a tad too young to catch it the first time around, but managed to get caught up by the time of the recent dvd release and can happily confirm Children Of The Stones remains every bit as powerful as 'they' say it is.
"Writer and comedian Stewart Lee explores the ground breaking television series Children of the Stones and examines its special place in the memories of those children who watched it on its initial transmission in a state of excitement and terror.
In 1977 HTV launched the revolutionary children's television drama telling the story of an astrophysicist and his son who arrive in the village of Milbury to study ancient stones. The residents greet each other with the phrase "Happy day", and the community is held in a strange captivity by the psychic forces generated by the circle of giant Neolithic stones which surround it.
Filmed at Avebury in Wiltshire, it is a strangely atmospheric production with the baleful, discordant wailing voices of the incidental music increasing the tension.
The story, involving a temporal paradox and issues of individuality and community assimilation thematically challenged the after-school audience, which included Stewart Lee.
In this documentary Lee returns to Avebury to discuss the serial's impact, examine its influence on him and explore the history and secrets of the ancient stones. 
1970s kids may have dived behind the sofa during Doctor Who, but it was Children of the Stones that gave them nightmares. The series is frequently cited by those who remember it as one of the scariest things they saw as children.
The programme includes contributions from series co-creator Jeremy Burnham, cast members and fans.