Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!


Lord Summerisle

Bob Grant

Mini Matthew Hopkins

Costume model made for 'The Witchfinder General'. After filming Vincent Price gave it to his daughter, who was terrified of it.


Rotherwas Woman

Holme Lacy Road, Hereford

Compare & contrast

Gary is now obsessed with the hauntological aspects of 'On The Buses' and has taken to e-mailing all sorts of images that further his wild claims. Some of the evidence is speculative at best; some of it is chillingly compelling -

The Busclipper Colonel

meets The Witchfinder General


We're through the looking glass here, people...

Hart & Craft (2)

Nice Thin Lizzy stencil in the middle. Never had Tony down as a rocker.

Hart & Craft

Thank you, Rotherham British Heart Foundation. The second picture features far more bones than I'd expect an average child to be able to get hold of. 

Vision On: The Mike Vickers Connection

I used to love watching Vision On when I were a nipper. So one day, naturally, I went trawling youtube for clips. I was instantly drawn to the music used for this weightlifter sequence - spacey proto-synth pop with a touch of pathos - and wished I knew where it came from.

Then, only a couple of months later, working purely on a hunch, I won a copy of Mike Vicker's 1975 KPM libary album "A Moog For More Reasons" on ebay. When I played it, I nearly shat my pants with delight to discover that the track "Surf Rider" (side 2, track 3) was the weightlifter music in question.

Since then I've scored a couple more of Vicker's electronic library albums and they all have much to recommend them, ranging from twee child-like melodies, funky moog jams and extreme Radiophonic experimentation. Not bad for an ex-Manfred Mann member. I think he helped the Beatles operate their Moog when making the Abbey Road album too, but let's not hold that against him.

If anyone has a copy of his "Moog Plus Brass" album to sell, I might be interested...

No more nights 'til Halloween

Satan hates cycling

Saturday, 30 October 2010

On The Buses

'On The Buses' has always struck me as a pretty poor show, and time has not been kind to it at all.

It had memorable elements, certainly, as, forty years on, some of the catch phrases and characters still stick in the public consciousness, but viewed nowadays via the wonder of satellite TV it's a parade of antiquated attitudes, cliched sitcom conventions and pathetic blundering about by elderly actors (Reg Varney was 53 when the programme was first broadcast, pushing 60 when it finished), a really rather tawdry and slightly grim reminder of a very different time.

That said, all long running programmes occasionally go mental, and thanks to my old pal Gary Zammit and his dubious viewing habits, here is the moment, six series in, when 'On The Buses' goes off piste and crashes into a tree. Several points of interest --

1. the bizarre Radiophonic blips, bleeps and camera movements that punctuate the scene -
2. the bit with Blakey at the window (does 'The Wickerman', released a year later, pay 'homage' to it?) -
3. the extraordinary bleakness of the aerial shots -
4. the concrete soundtrack of birdsong and uncomfortable laughter.

It's a fantastic clip. So fantastic, in fact, that I haven't even asked how the hell he got to find something like this. Truth be told, I'm a little frightened of the answer.

Oh, as it's nearly Halloween, do you want to hear something really terrifying? Forget about 56 year old Reg, Bob Grant and Stephen Lewis (conductor Jack Harper and Inspector Blakey) were only 40 and 36 years old, respectively, when this sequence was filmed.

Happy Hallowe'en Y'all

Probably the best thing I have to thank Rolf Harris for introducing me to.

Communist monuments of Bulgaria

"The Buzludzha Monument, one of the symbols of the socialism in Bulgaria. The building is now abandoned but still stands alone in the most beautiful landscape".

Read more and see some amazing photographs at Artificial Owl and various other sites such as this one (more shots of the inside, sure to appeal to those with a taste for vintage Soviet science fiction films).

You might also enjoy a further selection of Communist Political Monuments in Bulgaria, which includes this beauty:-

Then be prepared to lose an hour browsing the rest of Artificial Owl for further collections of "the most fascinating abandoned man-made creations".

The Mid-Yell Windhouse

The Windhouse is an abandoned house on the Island of Yell in Shetland that has a reputation of being one of the most haunted houses in the Isles and possibly in Scotland.

From a BBC news story on the House
The castellated Windhouse, which has been derelict since the 1920s, is reputedly one of the most haunted homes in the country. The ghostly goings-on are attributed to the presence of an ancient graveyard under the original structure.
Spectral occupants are said to include a servant girl who mounts invisible steps, a man in a top hat, and a ghost dog.

Over at Ghost weather they have a more detailed history of the house.

I have seen this place twice. Once, at night on the way to a friends house, the other time on a grey gloomy day in bad weather (which felt more unsettling) . There is something undeniably errie about the place...

Los Canarios

Information Britain: "For thirty years the Garcias have been operating this shining beacon of Tenerife lifestyle and cuisine in the cloudy North [sic!!]... The dining room is very spacious, with beamed ceiling and white walls... Friendly, caring atmosphere. What's cooking? Starters include red peppers stuffed with spiced chicken, or king prawns in chilli sauce..."

Wikipedia: "Eastside is a district of Birmingham City Centre, England currently undergoing a major redevelopment project… Los Canarios… was Birmingham's first Spanish restaurant. The restaurant has now been demolished, along with the rest of the building, to make way for the Eastside City Park".

The pub's closed

Recently deceased public houses, Eastside, Birmingham, 9th July 2008.


A gutted factory, Eastside, Birmingham, 9th July 2008.

Unmann-Wittering Horror Mix

Bat Flap.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Broadcast and Valerie

Nuns in the Attic....

From Armchair Thriller's "Quiet as a Nun" Episode....

This officially messed my head when i first saw it as a child. Damn she moves fast.....


I love Brian Bolland's artwork. Before he became a 2000AD regular he worked on 'The Hammer House Of Horror' magazine. This is a messed about with frame from the comic adaptation of 'Vampire Circus'.


For anyone in or near Berlin, this is happening next Thursday at Centrum. We did the last Wolpertinger 18 months ago...let's just say the work ethic goes when you're in Berlin. The night will start will a rid the space from the spell of its brothel past

Thursday, 28 October 2010

One More Story

One More Story 
The Outer Church Halloween Mixtape
Download here

Through a factory window

A peek through the window of one of the many interesting old buildings in Digbeth, Birmingham (UK) gives a view of the interior... and beyond.

The Submarine Genius Of Eric Ravilious

HM Subs

Slave worker

Folk propaganda

The future of pavilions... yesterday.

In the 1950's, artist and architect Victor Pasmore was teaching at the university of Durham. Whilst looking for idea's to change and modernise the local Durham Town of Peterlee, a development manager from the local council spotted Pasmore's work at a local exhibition and immediately asked him to design a pavilion to give the town an arty edge..

It's a bit brutal, however it's still quite a haunting looking thing just sitting there, resonating images of the 60's and 70's PIF's and kids at play...

Victor Pasmore

How to make a synthpop classic in ten easy steps

    1. Minimalism. Minimalism. Minimalism.

    2. Every sound must be strong enough to carry its function alone.

    3. No more than eight tracks on any song.

    4. As few as possible sonic elements playing at any one time - to preserve maximum power and fidelity.

    5. All mixes dubbed ruthlessly, to see how much they can be stripped further - to ensure getting rid of anything unnecessary, then exposing hidden instruments.

    6. Use the instruments I have, with as few additions as absolutely necessary.

    7. Subject matter - a man, a woman and a city.

    8. Attitude - detached urban romance, without sentimentality.

    9. Write only songs you would want to hear - without compromise.

    10. Once you are sure of the direction and content, don’t alter them for anything - no matter what the reaction is.

The ten rules John Foxx used in the recording of Metamatic. From an enthralling interview which includes discussion of early synthesizers, Conny Plank, Eno, London in the 70s...

They're Here

The Enfield poltergeist was one of the most thoroughly investigated paranormal events of the late 20th century. Centering on Janet, 11, and to a lesser extent her sister Margaret, 13, the family reported strange noises, and other manifestations were documented including the movement of large items of furniture, Janet's levitation (pictured), unexplained fires and (best of all) a gruff male voice similar to Regan's voice in 'The Exorcist' coming from both girls. This continued for more that a year around 1977. When Janet and Margaret are asked about it they maintain to this day that the phenomena were genuine and investigators have failed to offer convincing explanations.

(While David Soul looked on... Come on Silver Lady...)

Is Norfolk the most hauntological county in the uk?

Well, apparently not, with 42% of those that took part in the survey disagreeing with the notion. For the 23% that answered in the affirmative, take comfort from the fact that 22% thought it might have been and 11% didn’t understand the question.

Norfolk has certainly featured heavily on these pages over the last few months, and its crumbling cliffs, creepy waxworks and unusually shaped military installations will, no doubt, continue to be of interest.

For those that think the hauntological crown lays elsewhere, your photographs and field reports are eagerly anticipated.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

For Cliff's sake

Not so much a short film, more like a long cry for help. I am slightly obsessed with Cliff Richard's 'Wired For Sound'. I can handle it, but every now and again I find myself thinking about nothing else, usually whilst roller skating through an underground car park.

Haunted Air

More information and images can be found here.