The Big Bamboozler speaks! – The Musings Of Paul D Brazill

And There?s More … By Paul Brazill

Posted by Jason Michel on June 13, 2010 at 11:34 AM Comments comments (0)
In his introduction for the crime anthology KILLER YEAR, the thriller writer Lee Child talks about buying records as a working class lad in 1960’s England. At the time, 45 rpm singles cost an ‘affordable’ six shillings and eightpence  but LP records cost so much more that they were a twice a year only event – birthdays and Christmas.Later, he says, some record companies introduced budget price samplers – mainly prog rock- featuring two or three songs by ‘known’ bands  and the rest unknown or cult bands.And this, he says, is what KILLER YEAR is.  A sampler. It’s a good analogy and it’s a friggin’ good book with some particularly good stories from Bill Cameron, Ken Bruen, Sean Chercover,Dave White  Jason Pinter and Brett Battles. And there’s more…

I’ve been very lucky to have had stories in three anthologies so far this year along with some well-hard writers and I thought I’d give you a little sample of them.

Most recently I was asked to contribute a story to the first issue of  Needle – A Magazine Of Noir.

Needle was cooked up by author Steve Weddle and art director John Honor Jacobs and – with the help of editors Scott D. Parker, Naomi Johnson and Daniel O’ Shea –they have put together a cracking first issue. The magazine  looks great and contains over 150 pages of cushty writing.

It kicks off with this line from  Kieran Shea’s  splendid hardboiled P.I. story The Shrewd Variant :

So you’re saying my daughter is a whore?

And then it grabs you by the lapels and drags you along with it on a bloody, boozey pub crawl that calls last orders at Jedidiah Ayres’ The Whole Buffalo which is as amazing a piece of writing as you’re likely to read this year.

Along the way you’ll read all sorts of gems from Hilary  Davidson, Keith Rawson, Dave Zeltserman, Cormac Brown, Eric Beetner Sandra Seamans and Chad Rohrbacher.

And there’s  more…

In Needle, I was the token Brit but that wasn’t the case with  Byker Books’ Radgepacket Volume Four – Tales From The Inner Cities.

I first staggered into BYKER BOOKS via the ace crime writer Nick Quantrill who had a story in one of their books- Radgepacket Three– and online at their cracking Radgepacket Online site.

Prompted by Nick I sent a story to them last year – The Night Watchman – and was well chuffed to find out that it was accepted for the Radgepacket Four anthology.

And what a great anthology it is too.

It kicks off with Ragna Brent’s clever  touch of urban magic realism, ‘PianoMan‘ and ends with ‘ I Have Never‘, a brilliantly tense piece of writing from Stephen Cooper.

Along the way you get Ray Banks‘funny and sad ‘The Deacon Shuffle‘, Ian Ayris painfully funny ‘Little Otis‘, Steven Porter‘s spooky ‘Blurred Girl Diaries‘, Fiona Glass’ nasty  and nice ‘Lemon Sour‘, Darren Sant’s laugh out loud ‘Ungrateful Dead’.

And there’s more …

I think first heard about Howl: Dark Tales of the Feral and Infernal via Erin Cole who is the cover star of this classy looking anthology edited by Mark Anthony Crittenden.

My own attempts at horror writing have always felt a little lacking in bite to me and certainly seem so when compared to the blood curdling  Howls in the this collection.

There are standout stories from Lee Hughes, Pulp Metal’s Jason Michel , Gregory Miller, cover star Erin Cole (with the brilliant “Legend of La Chusa”), Carrie Clevenger, Jodi MacArthur, Richard Godwin and editor Mark Anthony Crittenden.

And there’s  more …

And that’s the deal isn’t it? There are the stories I’ve mentioned and there’s more which you may also like or even prefer.

And another thing, these anthologies aren’t exactly expensive are they?

If you  fancy having a Pick N Mix of top dark fiction–noir,hardboiled, drama, horror, comedy – here are the links:

NEEDLE: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/needle—spring-2010-issue-1/10264337

RADGEPACKET FOUR: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Radgepacket-v-Tales-Inner-Cities/dp/0956078850/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268329893&sr=8-4

Howl: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1451531311?ie=UTF8&tag=ecleflas-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=1451531311

BRIT GRIT INTERVIEWS Two

Posted by Jason Michel on May 11, 2010 at 9:33 AM Comments comments (0)
Charlie McQuaker & Alan GriffithsDie Hard Mod by Charlie McQuaker is published by Brighton’s Pulp Press http://www.pulppress.co.uk/ whose slogan is Turn Off Your TV And Discover Fiction Like It Used To Be …And you can buy it from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Die-Hard-Mod-Charlie-McQuaker/dp/1907499202/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266572777&sr=8-1

PDB) Is DIE HARD MOD autobiographical?

Charlie) Apart from having lived in both Belfast and Brighton, no, not really, though I’ll admit I’ve got same weakness for pretty bob-haired brunettes, beer and 60s music that Steve the Mod does. I’m probably more of a beatnik than a Mod and I’ve also managed to avoid violence since my last unsuccessful playground scrap in Belfast when I was about 14!

PDB) Do you really think mods could beat rockers in a fight?

Charlie) The original Modernists wouldn’t have lowered themselves to scrap with greasers because they wouldn’t have wanted to get creases on their sharp Italian suits and it’s also quite difficult to indulge in fisticuffs when you’ve got the latest Mose Allison album tucked under your arm.

From about 1964, though, a lot of the Mods were hard little proto-skinheads so they’d probably have been able to handle themselves pretty well. When it comes to one-on-one combat however, you’ve gotto say that biker boots can inflict much more damage than Hush Puppies so the Rockers would have the edge in that situation. Sorry to my Mod muckers for that admission!

PDB) Which drug would you choose to die of an overdose from?

Charlie) Booze is my drug of choice so can I drown in a vat of 10-year-old Bushmills please?

PDB) Who would play Steve in the film version of Die Hard Mod?

Charlie) If Colin Farrell can master a Belfast accent and get himself a decent Steve Marriott circa ’66 haircut, the part’s his for the taking!

PDB) What is Die Hard Mod’s theme song?

Charlie) ‘Bad Little Woman’ by The Wheels.

PDB) Belfast/ Brighton-what’s the connection?

Charlie)Apart from both being situated by the sea, there’s not an obvious connection and Belfast is gritty and down-to-earth while Brighton is quite bohemian and poncey but maybe at a push you could say that they both share a bit of a maverick attitude.

All my Belfast mates love Brighton and my Brighton mates have had a blast when they’ve visited Belfast so maybe each place sees something in the other that they really like. Belfastards and Brightonians both like to party hard so that’s one definite connection!

*

Alan Griffiths

Rookie writer,from London, England. I have a keen interest in reading and writing gritty CrimeFiction, particularly Noir and Pulp.

His blog BRIT GRIT is here: http://britgrit.blogspot.com/

PDB) Krays or The Richardsons?

Alan) Has to be the Krays although I once worked with a bloke who said he was related to the Richardsons.I think he was just trying to put the frighteners on me and was after my luncheon vouchers! Nah, it’s got to be the twins.

PDB) Could you choose three stories as examples of your writing?

Alan) Rat Fink – the first story I ever finished and was happy with. I sent it off to A Twist of Noir with a hope and a prayer and was amazed when Christopher Grant accepted and published it. I owe Chris a huge thank you for his help and encouragement. I also recall a certain PD Brazill leaving a very kind and encouraging comment.

Tom Foolery – the follow up to Rat Fink. I wrote it with Pulp Pusher in mind and was chuffed to bits when Tony Black accepted and published it.

Monkey Man – this originated from my first attempt at Cormac Brown’s Friday Flash Fiction. It was a fun piece to write. I had more fun extending it and was delighted that Matt Hilton and Col Bury agreed to publish it on Thrillers Killers n Chillers. It’s a personal favourite and I hope to be able to pen a longer more serious piece around the central characters someday.

PDB) Is location an important part ofyour writing?

Alan)Well all my pieces are set in London (at least they are in my head). I’ve lived in London all my life and it’s what I know. That said I need to push myself more regarding location, period of setting and genre. I sneakily would like to attempt a little Sci Fi after being mightily impressed and inspired by Chad Eagleton’s Six Bullets for John Carter, which is published at Beat to a Pulp.

PDB) Research- essential or a waste of time?

Alan) I think research adds authenticity. For my shorter stuff I do very little research but I use the Internet (Wikipedia etc) when I need to. I think for longer pieces research supports the narrative and makes it real but for me the story, plot and characters are always the priority.

PDB) Which British crime writers float your boat?

Alan) Oh loads, I’m a ferocious reader and that’s what got me into this writing lark.

Ian Rankin and John Harvey are old favourites. Harvey ’s Charlie Resnick novels are a joy to read and he is a very stylish and accomplished author. Mark Timlin’s hardboiled Nick Sharman novels.

I read many years ago J. J. Connolly’s Layer Cake and was bowled over by it. It was then made into a fine movie that, I think, ranks alongside the likes of Lock Stock andTwo Smoking Barrels. I’ve read that Connolly is working on a sequel and I would love to read that one day.

I’ve just re-read John Milne’s Jimmy Jenner series of four novels – all are terrific and were written in the 1980’s and 90’s – the last Alive & Kicking is the best and a great example of how a PI story can be written and set, convincingly, in Britain . He really makes a one legged and partially deaf PI come alive!

Of the new generation: Tony Black’s Gus Dury novels are cracking – I’ve read Paying For It and Gutted and eagerly await Loss being published in paperback. Ray Banks is great – I’ve read the first three Cal Innes books and the fourth is on my list.The Charlie Williams Mangel books are top notch and very darkly humorous. Also, Allan Guthrie – Two-Way Split was a great debut and deservedly won the Theakston ‘ s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

Recent stuff: The Last Straight Face and the sequel Fat Blackmail written by Bruce Kennedy Jones and Eric Allison; they are very gritty and authentic books. Matt Hilton’s Dead Men’s Dust, which is a terrific ‘can’t put it down’ thriller.

Then there is Danny Bowman (aka Danny Hogan) and all the great stuff he is doing with Pulp Press…

I’d better finish there but my Brit crime writer boat is well and truly floated and my bookshelves creaking!

PDB) Have you got a proper job?

Alan) Yes. I’m a bean counter for a large company in London . The job is secure (I hope!) and I’m grateful for it. I enjoy the job but it does not take long for my mind to wander onto the subject of books and writing…

PDB) What ‘ s on the cards for the rest of 2010?

Alan) Continue with the writing. I would like to write longer stories but, blimey its hard work… I’ve just completed a 2,000 word story for a competition and I spent a lot of time on it (I’m not sure if it’s apparent in the finished article though!). I’m very fussy with my stuff and spend an age reviewing and tweaking and reviewing and tweaking – it’s a bit like chipping away at a huge chunk of marble.

My aim (my dream) is to get a story published in an anthology and to accomplish that I think I need to produce (consistently) some quality longer pieces. Hopefully along the way I’ll continue to get stuff published on Webzines, maybe those that I have not yet cracked. My mantra must be – write, write and write more.I’ll be doing a lot of reading as well. Who knows maybe one day I’ll pen a novella or a novel…

Before I end; thanks to all the Webzine editors. I’ve mentioned AToN, BTAP, PP and TKnC but there are many others, including this cool publication. The stuff these guys do to support us aspiring scribes is tremendous and very much appreciated.

A big shout out to the other Brit Grit aspiring writers – I’ve got my mince-pies on thelikes of Col Bury, Lee Hughes and David Barber etc (sorry if I’ve forgotten anybody) – I admire all your work and rate it highly. I think we share the same hopes and dreams and I hope to be able to pick up a book with your name on it in a WH Smith or a Waterstone (or wherever) someday soon and spend some of my hard earned dosh on it.

Finally, my sincere thanks go to you PDB for all your help and encouragement. Your stuff is not too shabby either and I’m delighted that you will soon be published in hardcopy – it’s very well deserved achievement by a very talented writer. I’ll certainly pick up a copy of anything that has your name on it and hand over a few shillings at the till. You’re not a bad bloke really, apart from the flatcap, the woodbine tucked behind your ear and the emaciated whippet by your side…

Brit Grit – Interview

Posted by Jason Michel on March 27, 2010 at 11:39 AM Comments comments (1)
I interviewed two exponents of the‘Brit Grit’ school of crime/thriller writing –Danny Bowman/ Hogan is the author of Killer tease and editor of PULP PRESS. http://www.pulppress.co.uk/PDB) How autobiographical is your writing?

Danny) There’s always a little of own experiences in my writing, for example the back story for Eloise Murphy in Killer Tease is that she used to be a skinhead girl, as her record collection indicates. I used to be a skinhead back in the day, see. Also the path her life has followed is similar to mine, though I have never been a burlesque dancer, admittedly. In the upcoming Windowlicker Maker, Joe Tatum spends the first part of the book trying to deal with post traumatic stress disorder, which is something that I still struggle to cope with. There are a lot of true stories made into fiction in the Windowlicker Maker incidentally, people ain’t going to believe it when they read it, but it’s true. A lot of the protagonist characters in my stories tend to express my own inner thoughts and feelings to a degree.

PDB) Who would write the soundtrack to your novel Killer Tease?

Danny)There’d be a lot of Agnostic Front, as that is mine and Eloise’s favourite band. But I reckon a good opening song would be The Most Exhausted Potentate of Love by The Cramps. I’d have toget my mates in the Anglo-Franco punk band Deadline in there as I promised them that I would. In the scene where she dances at the Prince Albert to be either the Girl Can’t Help it by Little Richard or Werewolf by The Frantics. Nick Cave and Morrissey will probably make an appearance as well as I tend to write a lot listening to those two joymongers.

PDB) Give me the SP on Pulp Press’ merry band.

Danny) Pulp Press is all about bringing out energetic and entertaining reads in the old school pulp format, and specialise in revenge fiction. We are currently open to submissions for 23,000 words efforts but it is advisable that any interested party get hold of a couple of one our titles so that they can see what kind of thing we’re looking for. We don’t give advances but do offer a much more sizeable royalty cut. We are particularly keen on getting some female writers involved at the moment because at present our catalogue looks like a damned boy’s club.

Matt Hilton(http://matthiltonbooks.blogspot.com/) is the author of the novels Dead Men’s Dust and Judgement and Wrath as well being co editor of the ezine Thriller Killer n Chillers. http://thrillskillsnchills.blogspot.com/

PDB) Your writing is very cinematic. Which films have influenced you?

Matt) I’ve got a very strange eclectic mix of movie influences that just might- and regularly do – turn up in my books. They won’t be scenes stolen from the movies or anything so blatant, just a sense of the scene or theme from the movie. You’ll find I’m the sentimental type, so keep your eyes out for ‘IT’S AWONDERFUL LIFE’ making a showing, alongside other less tear-inducing classics as ‘THE SHOGUN ASSASSIN’, ‘SE7EN’ and ‘LETHAL WEAPON’. When I saw and read ‘NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN’ I realised that there were even influences out there that I must have picked up subliminally – cause I completed Dead Men’s Dust prior to doing either, but I love both the movie and the book now. Old Toshiro Mifune samurai movies, and Clint Eastwood’s ‘man with no name’ series have helped me define Joe Hunter as a character. For the action sequences, ‘THE BOURNE TRILOGY’ opened my eyes to realistic but thrilling combat. I also love the classic suspense movies by Hitchcock and anything with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. So you can see; there’s quite a mix.

PDB) Who would you like to star in the films of your books?

Matt) OK, I admit to having played this fantasy game before. Usually when meeting a reader, it’s one of the first questions I’m asked: ‘Are they making a movie of it?’ So, yeah it has got me thinking. Here’s my cast list:

Joe Hunter – Max Martini (The Unit)/Dominic West (The Wire)/Sean Bean/CliveOwen/Gerard Butler(Law Abiding Citizen) or Christian Bale.

Tubal Cain – Neal McDonough (Band ofBrothers)/Gary Oldman(Bram Stoker’sDracula)

Jared ‘Rink’ Rington – I’d struggle to find a 6’3” Asian American, so would probably have to go with Sonny Landham (Billy from The predator) if he was a little younger, or Mark Dacascos (CryingFreeman) if he was a bit taller.I’m open to suggestion here.

Harvey Lucas – Samuel Jackson or DenzilWashington

Walter Hayes Conrad – Bruce Willis or Alec Baldwin

Dantalion – Jake Busey

Kate Piers – Peta Wilson (La Femme Nikita)

Imogen Ballard – Virginia Madsen

Larry Bolan – some as yet undiscovered Pro-Wrestler turned actor

Trent Bolan – some as yet undiscovered Pro-Wrestler turned actor

Robert Huffman – Val Kilmer

PDB) Who would you like to write the soundtrack?

Matt) Ennio Morricone or Basil Polidouris or some metal band like Doughtry. Alternatively, I’d go with Ry Cooder (Southern Comfort).

PDB) Whose the best fighter, Mack The Knife or Bad Leroy Brown?

Matt) In a stand up, drag ’em out barroom brawl, my money would be on the BadBoy, but Ol’ Mack is a shrewd son of a bitch, and if he pulls one on Leroy, we might just have to take a look at that tugboat down by the river with the cement bag just droopin’ on down…

Cheers lads!

Femme Fatales – interview

Posted by Jason Michel on February 28, 2010 at 5:18 AM Comments comments (0)
I interviewed two of writing’s most mysterious Femme Fatales.Anne Frasier is an award-winning author of nineteen novels. She was a contributor to the 2009 Once Upon a Crime anthology published by Nodin Press, and is currently editing a short-story anthology of Halloween tales. She is working on a memoir to be submitted to major publishers in 2010.Her website is: http://www.annefrasier.com/page/page/4368661.htm

PDB) Who would write the soundtrack to your books?

Anne F) I would have to say The Chambermaids, who happen to be my kids. They wrote a song for one of my book trailers and did a great job. But if I were to name someone else…Neil Young, because that would be awesome.

PDB)What’s the worst job you’ve had?

Anne F) Back in the seventies Iworked at the Levi Strauss factory in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I spent eighthours a day sewing right and left back pockets to jeans, adding that little redLevi’s logo. I would highly recommend this kind of work if you want to go insane.

PDB) Have you ever written anything based onideas that come to you in dreams?

Anne F) I think almost everything I’ve written contains at least some small element of a dream. I use dreams to try to solve plot problems. Wake up in the morning, concentrate on problem, fall back to sleep and find the answer.Several years ago I dreamed a book title that I just recently got around tousing for a short story.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

Carole Parker is a Noir/Pulp/Hard-Boiled dame. A chain-smoking,hard-drinking, screenwriting beach babe, and all-around dangerous chick. If you’ve got the crime, she’s got the time …

Get That Killing Feeling here: http://caroleparker.blogspot.com/

PDB) Do you listen to music when you write?


Carole P) Always. Depends on the story. Noir, it’s jazz. Spy story,fast-pasted techno. Sleazy crime, sleazy rock and roll … !

PDB) Who is your favourite character that you’ve created?


Carole P) Carrie Love, hands down.Because she’s based on me …

PDB) Your screenplays are very funny. Who makes you laugh?

Carole P) As a kid, stuff like Monty PythonGeorge Carlin, Steve Martin. Nowadays, I love the extreme, angry comics like Lewis Black, Dave Atell and Bill Hicks. And of course, there will always be HOWARD STERN … !

PDB) Your writing is very vivid – even lurid at times. Are you really a shy, mousy librarian type?

Carole P) Not at all. Although I live a quiet life now, I’ve had a lot of wild, bizarre experiences over the years living in NYC and then LA … which I now put in my work.

PDB)What’s on the cards for Carole Parker in 2010?

CaroleP) This is the year, baby.

1) WILSHIRE BOULEVARD is inches away from finding it’s production home. HBO is interested, but we’re now keeping them at bay, and also going toShowtime with a view to starting a bidding war.  The deal is for a theatrical film that will then be spun off into a series.

2) NOWHERE GIRL is in the process of being adapted into a series of four comic books, which after they are published, will become a graphic novel.  Part 1 will come out later this spring, probably in April.

3) Now that Sundance is over, my manager is going wide with several projects,GUN-WILD, LITTLE GIRL BLUE and BLOOD GETS IN YOUR EYES.

4) I’m now developing a new project with writer/comedian Dave Monsterburg, now tentatively titled THE OBSCENE, a micro-budget comedy/horror movie in the veinof THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.  I can’t divulge the plot, but it’s very controversial, and will have the church and parents groups very upset.

Thanks lasses!

Richard Sanderson – The Post Punk Peter Hamill

Posted by Jason Michel on January 30, 2010 at 5:14 AM Comments comments (1)
In his introduction to his very good POSTPUNKSAMPLER 2, the legendary Julian Cope says tells this story:‘In 1979, a smart, cool-looking guy called Richard Sanderson came backstage after a (Teardrop Explodes) Middlesborough show and gave me a bedroom recording of his quartet Drop. In his manner, style and quiet confidence, Richard was the Peter Hammill of Post-Punk; anguished, lean and nobly Norman. I loved every song on the tape and played it to Bill Drummond and Dave Balfe (of Zoo Records) , who rejected it outright for being too much like ‘The Teardrops and the Fall’.So, who was the ‘Peter Hammill of Post-Punk’?

His bio says this: Richard Sanderson was born in 1960. He is originally from Middlesbrough in the North East of England, but has lived in London for 24 years. After a background in punk and post-punk groups he shifted into experimental music. Playing electronics, toys and squeezebox, he has recorded and performed with many left-field musicians. He was a director of London Musicians Collective for 10 years, and ran several clubs promoting experimental and improvised music such as “The Club Room“, “Baggage Reclaim“, “Western Civilisation” and “Scaledown.

In 2005 he joined Blackheath Morris Men as a dancer. In July 2005, together with Neil Denny, Richard created the ‘rationalist’ radio show Little Atoms. In 2009 he left the world of paid employment in the music business, and scaled down his other activities to look after his two young children. He has been married to Ruth for 15 years.

His regular blog is Baggage Reclaimhttp://bagrec.livejournal.com/.

And what of Richard’s legendary band Drop?

Richard says: ‘Drop coalesced out of my first punk band, The Silencers, and by the end of 1978, the steady line-up was-

Richard Sanderson – Vocals/Guitar

Neil Jones– Keyboards

Chris Oberon – Bass

Andy Kiss – Drums

Listen to the music that Julian Cope raved about here :http://bagrec.livejournal.com/741238.html

I’ve know Richard Sanderson for over thirty years. I first met him in a pub in Stockton when he was in DROP and I’ve been a friend and fan since then. I was even in a couple of bands with RichardHalcyon Days and Oceans 11.

Richard has now also released an MP3 compilation of some of his songs from 1978 -2009. One of the songs is Oceans 11’s ‘I Guess I’m Sentimental’ which was one of their better tunes. There’s also some other cracking stuff there including Drop’s French Windows which was covered by Julian Cope‘s brother’s band.

Click HERE- http://bagrec.livejournal.com/743621.html -for the track listing and download details at Richard’s blog BAGGAGE RECLAIM.

There’s more to The Weird & Not Very Frightening World Of Richard Sanderson than this but it’ll get you started.

The Brown Leather Jacket

Posted by Jason Michel on January 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM Comments comments (3)
I once got a leather jacket from my nephew Lee. He’d stolen it from the back of a chair in a pub near Victoria coach station in London. It wentto Australia and New Zealand and back with him.I thought it was cool and made me look like Serpico or Shaft or some other Seventies stud but most of my friends said it made me look like young man Steptoe.

I eventually took it with me when I moved to Warsaw and left it it the flat when I moved out. My mate Oliver’s brother stayed at the flat shortly after and he ‘claimed’ thejacket. Last I heard it was in Nottingham.

Whatever happened To Cuddy Wiffer?

Posted by Jason Michel on December 20, 2009 at 9:46 AM Comments comments (2)
Back in the Seventies Sir Elton John apparently considered Saturday night to be alright for fighting– and I bet you those platform shoes could give you a good kicking too-but what the hell did he do on a Saturday afternoon? Maybe Reg, like me, spent most of the time wandering around a grey and nondescript shopping centre with a couple of other waifs and strays?There were usually three of us: me, Theso and Norman. Theso had a face so acne scarred that it looked like a chewed up toffee apple and Norman had a big barrel chest and long arms that reminded me of  the character Monk from the Doc Savage books.Other odd sorts-such as my nephews Kevin, Wayne and Lee- hung around but we were the hardcore.The usual walk centred around record shops -including Boots The Chemist –and would segue into a ‘nick’ and mix from Woolies. Shoplifting, in fact, was one of the main activities. Did anyone actually ever BUY a Pan book Of Horror Stories?

The shops, though, were full of the mercenary eyes of staff and busy body customers. The Laughing Gnome was a super-short Asda shelf stacker who never laughed; Mr Barba also worked at Asda and earned his nickname because the moment you walked through the door he would stutter ‘Ba-ba- ba basket over there.’

The wonder of Woolies and our nemesis – Dr Doom to our Fantastic, er, Three -was a beige suited under manager with a Freddie Mercury tash who, the moment he saw us, would escort us straight back out of the shop. And some point we found out that he was called Mr Whiffen which of course earned him the nickname Cuddy Wiffer– local slang for left handed.

The Battle Of Britain of our war with Cuddy was when found his extension number and  got my six year old nephew to phone and call him a cunt. Halcyon days, of course.

Whatever happened to CuddyWhiffer?

Don?t Call Me a Crook! A Scotsman’s Tale of World Travel, Whisky, and Crime

Posted by Jason Michel on December 15, 2009 at 2:18 PM Comments comments (0)
If you look up the word ‘ bounder’ in the dictionary you won’t see a picture of Bob Moore (what you will see is the definition ‘a morally reprehensible person; cad’) but you really should.Don’t Call Me a Crook! A Scotsman’s Tale of World Travel, Whisky, and Crime was written by Bob Moore in 1935 and originally published by the same people that published Mien Kampf. Moore wrote ‘Crook!’hoping to make a packet although it’s doubtful that he made a penny from the book. It was discovered dishevelled and ignored in the ‘Tramps’ section of the New York Public Library by Dissident Books’ Nicholas Towasserand is an absolute cracking read.It starts off brilliantly:

“It is a pity there are getting to be so many places that I can never go back to, but all the same, I do not think it is much fun a man being respectable all his life.”

It then recounts the fantastic globetrotting adventures of a working class Scotsman who makes his way around the world wheeling and dealing, wining and dining and working as a marine engineer, building superintendent, a moonshine runner and a gun runner.

Moore’s adventures take him to the U.S., England,Australia, Egypt, South America, Japan, and China. The book has anafterword by Booker Prize-winning novelist James ‘Chuckle Chops’ Kelman but don’t let that put you off. Moore and his book are far fromrespectable. A thief, a liar, a cheat and, yes, a bounder this is a hell of a yarn.

Days of Futurama’s Past.

Posted by Jason Michel on December 8, 2009 at 7:56 AM Comments comments (1)
Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ Kevin Rowlands – in pre pantomime  dame days- once sang ‘Lord Have Mercy On Me/ Keep Me Away From Leeds’ in the brilliantly titled Thankfully, Not Living In Yorkshire, This Doesn’t Apply. And, to be honest, a fair number of people  agreed with Kev since Leeds certainly fit their idea of the grim north. What could be gloomier, in fact? Leeds on a rainy weekend in September? Watching  Joy Division? Aaaah …So: it was 1979 when I first visited Leeds with the intention of attending the Futurama Festival at the Queen’s Hall, which was billed as ‘The World’s First Science Fiction Music Festival’ – although there was little sci-fi about the experience.Joy Division were amongst the cornucopia of bands playing over the Festival’s two days along with   Factory records glum chums A Certain Ratio, Scritti Pollitti, Teardrop Explodes, The Bunnymen (pre drummer and complete with drum machine, Echo), Hawkwind (who I slept through), The Only Ones (who I  almost slept through), John Lydon’s PIL (slept through a bit of them, pity) and The Fall who were the best band of the whole two days.

The Swinging Curtis’ however were also damn fine. They were on the crest of a creative wave after Unknown Pleasures and Transmission and before the synthesizers softened their sound.  They were, for most people, the stars of the show. The bees’ knees, the cat’s whiskers, the dog’s bollocks.

As soon as a year later the Futurama was moving towards the mainstream. Acts included Siouxie & The Banshees promoting their hit Kaliedascope album, the Bunnymen- complete with a drummer and on their way to stadium rock-  and a newish band from Ireland who were being raved about by Garry Bushell- U2. I actually thought they were quite good with their Television-lite pop rock although I did, along with a Mr.  Ronny Burke, spend most of their set shouting Nanu Nanu at the singer – Bozo – because of his resemblance to Mork From Ork.

The Futurama Festivals carried on for a few more years but I didn’t go again or, indeed, return to Leeds until the late 80’s when I stayed  with a friend in Chapeltown an area well known during the Yorkshire Ripper’s reign of terror.  Who are you calling grim?

RobertMitchum – Walk Like A Panther

Posted by Jason Michel on December 6, 2009 at 8:36 AM Comments comments (3)

Some walk like they own the place

Whilst others creep in fear

Try if you can to walk like a man

You’ve got to walk like a panther tonight’

Or so said, Jarvis Cocker,and, indeed, he could have been talking about the great uncaged beast that was Robert Charles Durman Mitchum. Big Bob, certainly prowled though many films like he ‘owned the place’ although, in typically self deprecating fashion, he said this: “People say I have an interesting walk. Hell, I’m just trying to hold my gut in.”

For most of his life Mitchum was also uncaged. After being expelled from HighSchool, he traveled throughout the country on railroad cars, taking a number ofjobs including a ditch-digger and a professional boxer. He experienced many adventures during his years as one of the Depression era’s “wild boys of the road.”

However, in Georgia he was arrested for vagrancy and put on a local chain gang. Years later, in August 1948, he was arrested by narcotics officers for marijuana possession and sentenced to 60 days at a California prison farm.

But in film he always seemed free. Roger Ebert called Mitchum ‘the soul of FilmNoir’ and this was true in films such as Crossfire, The Big Steal,. Otto Preminger’s Angel Face and Out of the Past, directed by Jacques Tourneur ,where Mitchum’s cynical, mischievous attitude along with his lascivious droopy eyes and non-committal mouth were ideally suited to the role of the anti-hero.

However, the Charles Laughton helmed The Night of the Hunter is still considered by many to be Mitchum’s best performance, playing a psychotic criminal posing as a preacher to find money hidden in his cell mate’s home.

One thought on “The Big Bamboozler speaks! – The Musings Of Paul D Brazill”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s