Eccentronic’s new video, putting the Midlands at the centre of the map!
Birmingham (where I’m actually from - I was born in Solihull but grew up in neighbouring Brum) has been the butt of jokes for many years. “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Shakespeare had had a Midlands accent?” and so forth. Of course he did. So in the show Neurovision we tried to emulate the success of the Harlem Shake, the Macarena and Gangnam Style - all catchy international dance crazes that celebrate urban and suburban districts.
In the live performance, we always went way over the top - climbing over the audience and standing above them roaring, waving a huge Nottingham flag (and in Edinburgh, when the Nottingham flag was stolen, waving a huge white sheet with THIS IS NOT A FLAG emblazoned on it). This fed into the show’s themes of how easy it is to slip into nationalism. There’s no such scepticism in the video, though; it’s a genuine celebration.
Famous Midlanders omitted for time:
Roy Wood, Ozzy Osbourne, Meera Syal, Richard Hammond, Julie Walters, Noddy Holder, John Oliver, Ruby Turner, Frances Barber (I had a great photo of her, too!), the Teletubbies, Bejamin Zephaniah, Murray Walker, Bill Oddie (not born there but associated, as were JRR Tolkien and WH Auden), Chris Tarrant, Toyah Wilcox, Jasper Carrott and Jacqueline Hill (although Doctor Who fans should appreciate that Delia Derbyshire did make it into the video).
Myself and the very dapper Mr. Tristram Oaten, AKA Namtao, were having fun throwing some samples between us. We made the mistake of feeding them too much vitamin C, or something, and they grew into this strange blossom.
There isn’t much to say about this! I enjoyed working with the starting premise that it should resemble the music produced by a certain electronic music act whose work I appreciate.
As ever, it then wandered off in its own direction; I’m not a strict musician who insists on overly disciplined conduct from my pieces. They’re allowed to roam free, although have spent most of my month calling out for it and trying to herd it back into Soundforge, ready to be taken to Soundcloud. Er.
Written for Eccentronic’s show “Techno Prisoners”. The version in the show makes more specific political references but this demo version seems unpleasantly timely.
A gentle piece, based on a theme by Mike Nudd. It was developed, re-composed and performed by Kate Page and myself.
I’ve signed off on the master for my new album! I finished the album in July 2012, so it’s marvellous to have it all slick-sounding ready for release by Antigen within the next couple of months. Just the two Eccentronic shows at the Brighton Fringe to get out of the way first. (http://eccentronic.co.uk)
Bob Humid at Fat Of Excellence (Cologne) was doing the business to my, er, jams. (http://bobhumid.de)
As a bit of extra fun, I’ve been toying with a tablet drawing gizmo. The first is inspired by an image I saw by Sue Morgan (http://www.suemorgan209.co.uk/). It’s called “Low-Hanging Cloud”.
A less-successful image is “Snow Suicide”.
These were a bit bleak, so I thought I’d give both characters happy endings. Hence “Carried Away”.
And, er… I couldn’t think of anything much for the snowman, so I decided there was actually a bird under his hat.
Someone suggested that the hair-drier could have been set on ‘cold’ which would have been even better.
"The 1999 relaunch for the cult 70s show The Nowhere People delighted fans and bemused many critics. One reviewer described it as ‘Sapphire And Steel meets Pets Wins Prizes… which is a good thing’. The quirky atmosphere was maintained with a glossy CGI update; the catchy theme underwent a similar process.”
- The Nowhere Periodical
While I was writing this piece, it put me in mind of the ITC serials of the 1970s. Y’know, The Champions, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), The Persuaders and so on. One can only imagine what the show would have been like…
Of course, by the time I finished it, it sounded nothing like that. So don’t let me guide your visualisations for this piece. Perhaps, with Valentine’s Day so close, you’d even like to picture it performed in a Left Bank cafe, presumably by an IDM laptop group with roses in their mouths. Who knows? Or maybe you’re sensible and have no intention of indulging me.
I may re-work this with lyrics one day, actually. It’s a bit more sample-tastic than usual, but I rather like it. And who knows? Maybe The Nowhere People are due a revival…