Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Percy Grainger collection now partly online and public

The British Library has released a large collection of English folk song recordings made by Percy Grainger. Here are some from south and mid Staffordshire… A frog he would a-wooing go (Black Country). As I ran down between the barley (Tettenhall). Come all you blades (Tettenhall). Black Country story of how the Jack donkey swallowed […]


The Drayton Manor theme park’s science-fiction fireworks display this autumn, Sky-Fi. “Will have you truly enthralled and entertained, with fireworks set to music from sci-fi favourites including Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars [etc].” Very expensive, but it sounds refreshingly different.

Close To The Noise Floor

Close To The Noise Floor, a “4-CD, 61-track set exploring the origins of electronica in the UK” from 1975-1984. A collection of extreme rarities, judging by the track listing, and with almost no overlap with my own more pop-y chronological Space Patrol : the rise of early British electropop, 1977-1983. The Human League’s “Being Boiled” […]

Austra: Future Politics

I had a listen to Austra’s new album Future Politics (2017), lured by the far-future sci-fi theme and a reviewer’s rather ambitious comparison to Eno’s famous album Another Green World. Though I was almost dissuaded from investigating, by off-putting leftist virtue-signalling in a media interview. But, like the Russians under communism, I’m increasingly developing cognitive […]

Listen Notes

Listen Notes, a podcast search engine that’s fast, simple, comprehensive… and actually works. At last.


Celebrate Delia Derbyshire’s 80th birthday at Coventry Music Museum. Delia was the pioneering musician who adapted and recorded Ron Grainer’s classic Doctor Who theme for electronic music, and later helped to inspire the late 1970s wave of sci-fi electropop (John Foxx, early Gary Numan etc). Coventry was where Delia grew up, and there are weekend […]

Pull My Finger

Pull My Finger podcast pilot (and currently eight podcasts). Lead presenter Tony James not only has a great voice, he has a great offer on Fiverr: a 150-word smooth West Midlands working-class voiceover. Sounds like he’s originally from north-east Birmingham/Walsall?

I’m Entranced

A truly outstanding first hour, of a two-hour set… * Angel Ace & Victor Prada – Entrance Music Radioshow 042 (Nov 2016) On SoundCloud: 1st hour progressive selection mixed by Victor Prada. 01. Jacob Singer – Survival Human (Gonza Rodriguez Remix) [Incepto Music] 02. Following Light – String Theory (Original Mix) [Saturate Audio] 03. Matter […]

Museum of Science Fiction

There’s a Museum of Science Fiction, near Worcester (UK).

Middle Earth, a major Tolkien biopic

I’m pleased to hear that a very major Birmingham / Staffordshire movie is going ahead. Directed by James Strong (Downton Abbey), Middle Earth will explore Tolkien’s early life, his romance with Edith Bratt, and the loss of nearly all his friends in the war. The screenwriter will be Angus Fletcher, and The Lord of the […]

A film for today: “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”

If you want a good film to watch this Sunday, it’s “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (2007). I’ve just seen it again, and it’s an utterly perfect fit with this moment in history.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – a game set in the rural Midlands

I’m not a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction in its modern American form, but there’s an interesting and rather more lyrical literary tradition in English sci-fi — stretching from Mary Shelley’s “The Last Man” (1826) through Wild England (1888), to H.G. Wells and beyond — which makes the English countryside and topography an integral part of […]

The Bluedot Festival

The famous Jodrell Bank telescope, located 15 miles north of Stoke-on-Trent on the Cheshire plain, is to be home to a major new three-day festival on 22nd-24th July 2016. Electronic music maestro Jean-Michel Jarre will headline the event’s music stage, along with Air, Underworld and Caribou — with Brian Eno doing projection-mapping onto the iconic […]

Eastercon 2017 in Birmingham

Eastercon, the year’s major British convention for literary science fiction, is coming to the Birmingham NEC next year. 14th – 17th April 2017 at the Hilton Metropole, with Guest of Honour Pat Cadigan.

Penda’s Fen on DVD

At last… Penda’s Fen (1974) on DVD, albeit in an expensive boxed set.

Pet Shop Boys – Super

Super, there’s a new album from The Pet Shop Boys. Just released, and Super. Yes, the title is just… Super. 1. Happiness. 2. The Pop Kids. 3. Twenty-something. 4. Groovy. 5. The Dictator Decides. 6. Pazzo! 7. Inner Sanctum. 8. Undertow. 9. Sad Robot World. 10. Say It To Me. 11. Burn. 12. Into Thin […]

Oxford Dictionary of Original Shakespearean Pronunciation

The Oxford University Press has a new video-interview today, on an outstanding new project… “Over ten years, David Crystal has constructed an entire dictionary of Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation — with guidance on how every single word in the First Folio would most likely have been heard by Shakespeare’s audiences.” The book is the new The […]

BBC iPlayer and the TV licence fee

A forthcoming new law will mean that “Those who watch catch-up BBC iPlayer on tablets will be forced to pay [the TV] licence fee”… “One option being considered is to make users sign in with a password linked in with a television licence before they can watch live or catch-up programmes.” Well, that’s up to […]

Future Shock!: The Story Of 2000 A.D.

I’m a fan of documentaries on creatives and the creative process, especially those rare feature-length documentaries on comics and cartooning. I recently enjoyed the excellent new one on the cartoonists of The New Yorker. Now it’s super to hear about a new feature-length documentary on one of the greatest British weekly comics, the science-fiction comic […]

Boy and Bicycle

“Boy and Bicycle” 1965, 27 minutes. Ridley Scott’s first film… The BFI also now has the film for free, possibly in a better print from the 16mm original, but I couldn’t get their player working (uses Flash?).