I went to Brighton for a few days last week and here's some pictures. Yes, I've been too busy to write anything since. And Brighton's great.
Looking back on Dazed
and Confused (in cinemas again to celebrate thirty years since its release) is almost like
looking back on one’s past. A slow burn
success, partly due to misleading marketing, it’s charms have only become apparent to a wider audience as time went
by and perhaps because it contains early performances by the likes of Mathew McConaughey,
Ben Affleck and Parker Posey. They are
part of a tapestry that depicts the last day and night of a typical American
high school summer semester in 1976, the Bicenntial year though there is no
celebration of that, not even from the teachers.. You might say- as some have-
that nothing happens in this film when in fact it is packed with small
incidents it’s just that events unfurl at an unfussy natural pace. These are
not our personal memories of such a formative time yet they seem as if they
are. Nowadays this sort of filmmaking is
much more commonplace than it was in 1993 so in some ways the film may not seem
as groundbreaking now.
[But first, a
bit relating to last week's show and the great stereo switch on. Over at https://www.mixcloud.com/espeee/top-of-the-pops-1st-september-1988-with-steve-wright-mark-goodier-radio-1-fm-stereo-switch-on/ there's a recording from Radio 1
on the big day, just before Top of the Pops begins. Steve Wright briefly
interviews producer & director “Stan” Appel, and Ian McLean the floor
manager, and Mark King from Level 42. You get to hear how TotP was integrated
into the Radio 1FM schedule and at the end there's the latest news from
Andy Crane: “You're too kind. Later in the show we've Britain's brand new number one but to get things underway, Mark Almonds and La Magia and Tears Run Rings.”
Just two weeks after
debuting on Netflix, the notoriously reluctant -to- renew streamer has actually granted this show a
second season. Looking at the analytics its easy to see why- the show was
Netflix’s number one in eighty-four countries beating recent high water marks
such as season four of Stranger Things or the first series of Wednesday.
Of course it does have the benefit of already being a globally recognised brand
and has potential beyond that too when you consider its more accessible than
either of those other shows especially to younger viewers. What it’s success
may also open up is a rich seam of manga adaptations perhaps taking some of the
territory currently occupied by comic interpretations? Is this a sea change?
Well let’s not get ahead of ourselves but I’m pleased that a series I like has
actually been renewed by Netflix for a change after the Lockwood and Co
debacle. Mind you the figures do show what it takes to get that elusive
renewal. Popularity in a handful of places- even if they are the US and the UK-
is just not enough. Nothing less than a global reach will do.
Mark Goodier: “Hello and welcome...”
Steve Wright: “Hello!!”
Mark Goodier: “... to a very special Top of the Pops tonight because it's the first ever nation-wide stereo simulcast.”
Steve Wright: “The man speaks the truth!! And here are the frequencies!! In Central Scotland at 98.6!!
Mark Goodier: “Yup, 98.6”.
Steve Wright: “In the north at 98.8 FM!!”
Mark Goodier: “98.8”.
Steve Wright: “And in the Midlands at 98.4 FM now!!”
Mark Goodier: “98.4”.
Steve Wright: “[to the crowd] Shut up you lot!!”
Mark Goodier: “Brilliant. So make sure you turn down the TV sounds, switch up Radio 1 FM...”
Steve Wright: “Woo!!”
Mark Goodier: “... and hear crystal clear stereo Top of the Pops. Now our first band tonight have been away for a long time. Welcome them back. Straight in to 18 at the chart, Level 42.”
Another month brings
another big Netflix launch but curiously of a title I -and I’m sure many others-
have never heard of. One Piece is an adaptation of a manga comic whose
sales it is claimed make it one of the top ten most read books ever. Its been
adapted before as an animated series and now Netflix has lavished considerable
resources on this live action version. The
first eight episodes can now be watched; each around an hour long, each
containing considerable spectacle. Its about a band of juvenile `pirates` in an
unnamed land who join in a race for a fabled treasure called the One Piece.
What they lack in age or experience they make up for with assorted skills
enabling them to overcome a series of mad pirates.
Gary Davies: “Hi. We're very glad to see you. Welcome to another Top of the Pops. On the show tonight it's all the Bs, we have Breathe, Brother Beyond, and Baz and the Plastic Population.”
Nicky Campbell: “Er... but we don't have Princess Beatrix quite yet but what we do have is a brilliant British band, Big Country.”
Gary Davies: “Yeah!”
Paul Ciani is
away and it's interesting to see Stanley Appel quietly ditch the elements of
the show he doesn't like. Paul Ciani's first week off was 11/08/1988 and
instantly gone was the (admittedly daft) insistence on splitting the two hosts
to introduce the show from separate parts of the studio. Bruno Brookes and Liz
Kershaw were allowed to get together, whereas the previous week Janice Long and
Mark Goodier were on different stages. Gone also, Paul Ciani's tendency to
treat the video played over the closing titles as an extended Breaker.