Forty Years on the Forbidden Planet

Is it a paradox that the rapid passage of time, combined with nostalgia for one’s youth makes it seem that some shops have been there forever, and yet forever just seems like a few years? Perhaps that kind of timewarp feeling is quite appropriate when it comes to a place like the Forbidden Planet […]

Rockabilly Rave Impressions 2019

It’s both a joy and a challenge that each year’s Rockabilly Rave tends to leave me with the same things to write about – a joy because it means that the Rave can be relied on for a weekend of good music and good mates, but a challenge when I come back determined that […]

Herr Rockabilly Returns – Marcel Bontempi in Cannock

I feel a bit of a lightweight writing up one of the Marcel Bontempi gigs that Colin Silcocks staged in Cannock in March, because the whole concept of his visit to the UK was to present a double-header showcasing the two sides of Herr Bontempi’s talents in a pair of themed nights, the first […]

Quant and Conran in Bermondsey

With the V&A’s current Dior and Quant exhibitions making even the national news, and tickets at a premium, it was good to remember that Mary Quant, and her contemporary Terence Conran, were also the subject of a much more intimate exhibition at one of our favourite venues, the Fashion and Textile Museum, tucked away […]

Don McCullin – Recorder of the 20th Century

The Tate gallery might seem an odd place for an exhibition of a 20th Century photographer’s work, but there are two very good reasons why the current one works very well there. The first is the sheer quantity of work on show. A venue like the Photographers Gallery in Soho might be able to […]

In Search of Giant Fleas – the Joy of the Flea Market

It was all so easy when I first started collecting ‘old stuff’. For one thing, it wasn’t that old – in the late 70s and early 80s, stuff from the 50s and 60s was at most 30 years old and much of it was simply classed as secondhand, rather than collectable. Charity shops were […]

Welcome to the Mild West, Big Sandy

What with Colin Silcocks filling West Midlands venues with top acts, and the gang down at Burnham on Sea mounting a weekly live gig, we’re getting spoiled for choice along the rocking M5/6 corridor, but March saw us tossed on the proverbial horns, with Danny Brown offering a marathon session of top DJs in […]

The Scala – The Picturehouse of Dreams

From the perspective of the connected world, it’s hard to conceive that only 30-odd years ago, the concept of ‘on-demand’ anything was pretty much non-existent, particularly when it came to film. No You Tube, no on-line streaming, no digital TV, and videos eked out at a glacial pace and at a price that, in […]

A Bit of Vintage Culture for New Year

Filling that bit in between Xmas and New Year is always a challenge, but fortunately the round of family visits usually takes us close enough to London to throw up some opportunities, and with absolutely no inclination to join the orgy of retail that surrounds the post Xmas sales, we grabbed the chance to […]

Good Grief – It’s Charlie Brown in London

When the news broke of Charles Schulz’ retirement from cartooning in 1999, followed by his death the previous year, a little bit of my childhood died with him. Admittedly, I’d not read a Peanuts cartoon for a long time, and the ubiquitous application of the Snoopy motif to anything and everything in the late […]