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Welcome to this Blog.

It’s about my enthusiasms – mainly photographic history, music and artsy stuff – now & then.

Launched in November 2011, I wrote a blogpost everyday for 18 months – and now & then since then.

The site disappeared into cyberpsace for a few years, but is now back.

Check out the ‘Random Articles’ on the Home Page to get a flavour of the site.

a shaggy dog story

Posted by on Jul 9, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

a shaggy dog story

A famous photograph came into my mind today, prompted by a passing mention in the latest edition of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs.’ The TV presenter Sue Perkins was talking about ‘a difficult time in her life’ after a relationship ended and to illustrate the point, she chose Nick Drake’s ‘Northern Sky’ as one of her 8 tracks. But what caught my attention was a reference she made to years later seeing a picture of Nick “walking his dog past the exact flat I was living in when I was...

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thanks to the unthanks

Posted by on May 13, 2017 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

thanks to the unthanks

The latest chapter in a musical story I have followed for the past three decades is currently being played out at venues across the UK. The Unthanks – sisters Rachel and Becky with a wonderfully sympathetic band of supporting musicians – are touring their show ‘How Wild The Wind Blows,’ featuring the songs and poems of Molly Drake. Regular visitors to this blog will know Molly as the mother of the singer-songwriter Nick Drake, whose story I played a small part in telling via two radio documentaries – ‘Fruit...

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nick drake remembered

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

nick drake remembered

Forty years ago today, the singer-songwriter Nick Drake died. You will find many tributes elsewhere on the web and in publications large and small. But I thought you might enjoy reading a couple of previously unpublished pieces, written nearly a decade ago, about two encounters from my own journalistic pursuit of Nick. The first with his mother Molly and sister Gabrielle in 1992. The second with the actor Brad Pitt in 2004.          *                      *                     *                       *...

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stereo works of art

Posted by on Nov 8, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

stereo works of art

3D is going through one of its periodic ‘hot’ periods with assorted Hollywood blockbusters being screened and appreciated by a cinema full of people wearing big glasses. But as a new exhibition at Tate Britain reveals, the phenomenon has its roots in the middle of the 19th century. “‘Poor Man’s Picture Gallery’: Victorian Art and Stereoscopic Photography” celebrates the hugely popular craze of  three-dimensional photos – or ‘stereographs’ – that caught the public imagination in...

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finding vivian maier

Posted by on Aug 10, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

finding vivian maier

Documentaries are perhaps my favourite form of story-telling – either for radio or tv. But increasingly really amazing documentaries are getting a cinema release, and that’s what’s happened to the truly remarkable ‘Finding Vivian Maier (12).’ The story of the nanny photographer Vivian Maier (1926-2009) is one that has generated the sort of column inches any documentary maker can only dream of. I first became aware of Maier’s story in the summer of 2013 thanks to a film in the BBC’s...

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tv themes

Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

tv themes

Funny how a piece of music can you time travel you around the place when you least expect it. The great sports broadcaster David Coleman, who died just before Christmas, was part of my tv world for more years than I care to remember. One of the programmes he fronted featured in a BBC1 tribute, broadcast last week, but which I’ve only just caught up with. ‘Sportsnight with Coleman’ brought sports action and interviews into living rooms across the country on a Tuesday evening at a time when such moments weren’t as...

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don’t you want me

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

don’t you want me

The Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’ is up there with my favourite singles of all time. Not only is it a great song, which bears repeated hearings, but it takes me back to Sheffield in 1981 where I was working at the time as it made its way to the top of the charts – a feat it repeated in countries around the globe. The idea that it’s again gunning for the No.1 position in the UK this weekend is rather wonderful. It’s the result of a campaign to get the song back where it belongs after Aberdeen FC...

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deaf school

Posted by on Feb 10, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

deaf school

Books about rock and pop music can sometimes disappoint, particularly if they are poorly written or the story they tell is already familiar. But two books I’ve enjoyed recently certainly don’t fall in to that category. ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story Of Modern Pop’ by St.Etienne’s Bob Stanley (Faber & Faber) is a huge tome, but it’s one I can recommend to any lover of pop music. Think you’ve heard it all or said before? Think again. By tracing the development of the single or ’45,’ the book...

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solid air 2

Posted by on Feb 3, 2014 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

solid air 2

There’s been a Nick Drake and John Martyn thread running through my occasional recent posts. So it’s timely that both artists were coupled in the latest edition of ‘Johnnie Walker’s Long Players’ on BBC Radio 2. The show’s format is that Johnnie and music journalist David Hepworth talk about and play tunes from two classic albums over the course of an hour. Martyn’s ‘Solid Air’ and Drake’s ‘Bryter Layter’ are linked together in a myriad of ways as the programme...

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adam holmes

Posted by on Nov 21, 2013 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

adam holmes

Songwriters come in all shapes and sizes as today’s BBC Radio 4 documentary about Nick Drake’s mother Molly proved. Hearing her musical creations getting a national airing (two of them amazingly performed by Tracey Thorn) also illustrated that a song can have a life of its own in the hands of a wonderful singer. Fortunately, songwriting, as we learned in the programme, is a skill that passes from generation to generation. So whenever the work of a songwriter reaches my ears and grabs my attention, I try and spread the word. Adam...

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