Slip Inside This House – cover versions in the age of sampling

The rapid spread of sampling in pop music in the late 80s made the idea of a cover version passé. A cover, after all, was generally a form of tribute to pop's rich history. Sampling as an artform ripped snatches of that history from its original context, juxtaposed it next to other slices, and created … Continue reading Slip Inside This House – cover versions in the age of sampling

Children’s TV – The Stuff of Nightmares

I wrote this a month or so ago, before we all entered the current COVID-19 nightmare. I can't help but worry about the lingering effect this will have on today's kids, long after the immediate emergency is over. Anyway, I wrote this in response to a Twitter CfP from @horrifyingbook who are looking to compile … Continue reading Children’s TV – The Stuff of Nightmares

Shedding skins / counting rings

"Yes, he was looking back, because nowadays he had forgotten who he had been when he was young." Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting This post follows loosely from one I wrote two years ago, about nostalgia. I found the quote above while re-reading Kundera for the first time since I was about … Continue reading Shedding skins / counting rings

Here Comes A’body

Visitors flocking to the sleek new V&A in Dundee who opt to explore the city further may, depending on the childhood they had, be bemused by the statues in the city centre. A stout cowboy, striding along the Nethergate and hauling a recalcitrant bulldog, is about to be ambushed by a catapult-wielding adolescent girl. A … Continue reading Here Comes A’body

Meta-nostalgia: “The Beatles Story” by Arthur Ranson & Angus Allan (1981/2018)

This is a follow-up to my previous piece on nostalgia. Not because the world needs any more writing on The Beatles: it really doesn't. The book is a collection of the serialised strips which appeared in Look-In from 1981-1982. There was also a similar strip covering Elvis' rise to fame. I remember them (vaguely) from … Continue reading Meta-nostalgia: “The Beatles Story” by Arthur Ranson & Angus Allan (1981/2018)

1990: summer of cinema

This piece was an unsuccessful competition entry. The brief was "memories of cinema-going". Not for us the spurious joys of cider by the fountain, or Tennent’s behind the hut in the top park. The summer my friends and I turned sixteen we marked this coming-of-age by getting into the cinema to watch 18-rated films. With … Continue reading 1990: summer of cinema