Sunday, 18 December 2011 14:02

Gary Crowley - The Lord of Pop

gary crowley the lord of pop matteo sedazzari zani

The impact of hearing music for the first time on an adolescent can be a life changing moment. Suddenly life takes on a new journey, a spiritual connection is made and an obsession for music has begun. The need to know everything about music, to collect records and to follow a fashion is consuming. In many cases the inspiration to become an artist themselves is just as strong.
Published in Music Archive
Sunday, 18 December 2011 12:07

Don Letts the Wise Man



Yes, yes, yes, we know that Don Letts was the man that introduced punks to reggae in 1976 at the Roxy but that’s just one feather to his bow.

Published in Music Archive
Good VibrationsTerri Hooley ZANI 1

The cinema release of Good Vibrations is perfect timing in many ways. With the UK struggling economically and creatively, coupled with the British gangster film which has seriously run its course.  Please, no more films with the thug narrative telling us a tale of greed, blood etc. etc.  So it is refreshing to have a film that focuses on a man, his passion, his achievements and failures and his sanity against a harsh political and social backdrop. All based on the life of Northern Ireland’s Godfather of Punk, Terri Hooley ,founder of the Good Vibrations record shop and record label in the late seventies.
Published in Film Archive
Monday, 11 June 2012 13:54

Actor Phil Davis Speaks to ZANI

/phil davis matteo sedazzari zani 1.j

Essex 1967, the careers officer raises his eye brows at the school boy, as he searches for the right words so he doesn't hurt the kid's feelings, "An actor, that's what you want to do as a job when you leave school? ". The blonde school boy with a small frame and short in height, nods with no enthusiasm. Since he yearned to become an actor, he has grown accustomed to the mocking, a disguise for jealously and envy. His peers recite lines from Shakespeare, which, most of the time, are misquoted. In fact the ridicules have hardened him. As living on a council estate in Essex has made him tough. He knew how to handle the lads,
Published in Film Archive
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 19:51

Corrupt AKA Copkiller

harvey keitel  john lydon corrupt copkiller matteo sedazzari zani 1

Corrupt which was made in 1981, yet not released until 1984, stars two heavyweights from the world of film and music, Harvey Keitel and John Lydon AKA Johnny Rotten, in a film about corruption, guilt and murder. Harvey Keitel plays Lt. Fred O'Connor, a New York policeman who doesn't say no to a backhander, and from his ill gotten gains he is able to purchase an uptown apartment with colleague Bob Carvo (Leonard Mann).
Published in Film Archive
/sex and drugs and rock and roll dave cairns zani 2.j

I first saw Ian Dury as Kilburn and The High Roads back in 1975 at the North East London Poly in Walthamstow, which held regular gigs in the main hall from the hippy acts of the day; Gong, Soft Machine, Hawkwind, String Driven Thing to pub rock scene favourites Ducks Deluxe, Ace, The Kursaal Flyers, Brinsley Schwartz and Dr Feelgood with John Peel as resident DJ.

I remember thinking how good his band were but what a strange character he was, dragging himself across the stage in a leg calliper dressed in his trademark  Crombie and silk scarf and using the mike stand as a crutch, and thinking ‘this bloke can’t really sing but he’s got some serious attitude’.

A lot has been made of the 70’s pub rock scene, but it’s no wonder Punk Rock wiped it out, because there were so few bands with any real balls or passion. Only Dr Feelgood would fall into that category and I guess Ian Dury and a few others.

After Malcolm McLaren had dreamed up and  launched The Sex Pistols and his mate Bernie Rhodes did the same with The Clash- featuring of course Joe Strummer from the pub rockers The 101’rs- a lot of the  clever muso bands or simply older good players (successful or otherwise) ran for cover. Whilst others donned the motorbike jackets and plastic trousers, dyed their hair peroxide blonde giving us the excellent Stranglers, The Only Ones and The Vibrators, followed by the likes of Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and Ian Dury & The Blockheads on Stiff Records. So I was delighted to see him crack it with the album ‘New Boots and Panties’, in fact I recall being in a Brighton hotel overlooking the seafront, drinking into the small hours with The Jam, and drummer Rick Buckler wouldn’t stop playing the album until the sun came up, so I got to know it rather well. Dury was truly London’s original Punkfather.

The film is a bit of a sad affair to be honest, and a real warts ‘n’ all, but highly stylised and brilliantly directed by  Mat Whitecross .Having read extracts of the new biography and interviews with his son I could see how cleverly this had been scripted and with great casting and performances all round. A lot centres around Ian’s miserable institutionalised childhood stricken with Polio and how it coloured his life, the early chaotic days of the band, the fights, the sackings, his strained relationship with his first wife and how life on the road and his music made him an errant and rather selfish father to his son. We see some creative moments of genius between Ian and his long suffering right hand man and co-writer, Chas Jankel, and some live performance moments faithfully recreated-but not nearly enough for me. His clever blend of simple word play and rhyming, cheeky chappy cockney slang and hilarious observations on working class life spoken in a rap style, put to a soft funk backing, was unique then-although Chas ‘n’ Dave had made their name doing much the same but in a music hall ‘knees up mother brown’ kind of way-and you hear his influence in so many acts these days; think Blur and the ‘posh mockney set’ Lily Allen and Kate Nash.

But as he continually yo-yos between wife and lover, and drags his son through the mire, Ian appears to let success get to his head, hits the self destruct button and let’s his lynchpin and musical partner Chas walk off in frustration. Of course the music slips as he tries to go it alone and by the time Chas comes back the moment, sadly, has gone.

There is a priceless segment on his involvement with the International Year of The Disabled and how splendidly he pisses everyone off with the song ‘Spasticus Austisticus’ a cathartic trip back to the institution that robbed him of his childhood, which the politically correct were appalled by and it was subsequently banned by the BBC . What did they expect- a soppy ballad?

The film then seems to end rather abruptly and doesn’t attempt to cover his decline into ill health and his untimely death from cancer at the age of 57. Nor does it touch on his extensive charity work for UNICEF, which was a bit puzzling and a little unfair I thought, but I’m sure there were reasons for that.

This stylish biopic comes across as a very honest portrayal and doesn’t pull any punches (borne out by comments from his son Baxter) but a little too hard on the man, as I’m sure anyone who suffered the way he did could be forgiven for being more than a little bitter at the cards he’d been dealt in life.

I wondered off down the Holloway Road humming Ian Dury’s ‘What A Waste’ -a sad omission from the soundtrack.

How apt.

© Words - Dave Cairns/ ZANI Ltd
Published in Film Archive

FRIENDS OF LUCA BRASI CD single.

I like the Friends of Luca Brasi... it would be fair to say I like them a lot; so much so that after catching them live and kicking at a crowded out 12 Bar Club in Denmark Street one Friday night a while ago (I actually reviewed that gig for ZANI - go to: www.zani.co.uk/music/26-friends-of-luca-brasi)

Published in Music

In between Glam Rock and Punk, was a band called Jook, who visually distinguished themselves by donning the popular at the time ‘terrace culture’ look. This was an adaptation of the skinhead look of the late 60’s, but the trousers were slightly more flared, wore at times half-mast, and length had returned to the hair,

Published in Music
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ZANI was conceived in late 2008 and the fan base gradually grew by word of mouth. Key contributors came from those of the music, film and fashion industry and the voice of ZANI grew louder. So, when in 2013 investor, contributor and fan of ZANI Alan McGee* offered his support to help restyle and relaunch the site it was inevitable that traffic would increase dramatically and continues to grow. *Alan McGee co-founder of Creation Records and new label 359 Music..

 

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ZANI is an independent online magazine for readers interested in contemporary culture, covering Music, Film & TV, Sport, Art amongst other cultural topics. Relevant to modern times ZANI is a dynamic website and a flagship for creative movement and thinking wherever our readers live in the world.