Let’s Have Another Weird Song


There area lot of mad trunk songs that get written for auditions or shows that close out of town which appeal to the geek-collector in me. I would love to track down Ben Hecht’s bonkers play about Pancho Villa, which was turned into the flop show ‘We Take The Town’ (I don’t think it even […]

Did You See What I Saw?


  Music venues are a blessing and a curse – they give you the chance to see dream-teams of bands and performers you’d never be able to see anywhere else, but they can also be cattle-runs where you see virtually nothing from expensive terrible seats. From a strictly viewing point of view, the worst experiences […]

When Is It Plagiarism, When Is It Homage?


It’s a question that vexed me recently in these columns when we talked about the new TV series ‘Penny Dreadful’ and the very similar books of Kim Newman which long-preceded the series. All artists learn from one another and develop new strands out of the art they admire, others see a commercial main chance to […]

Rik Hits The Top 40


Shakespeare. Football. It’s obvious that they go together really. And the tragic loss of national treasure Rik Mayall means they finally have their day. With no official World Cup 2014 anthem, after the Football Association decided against releasing a new version of Take That’s ‘Greatest Day’ featuring Gary Barlow and Michael Owen, an online campaign […]

Morricone Forever


A few years ago I saw Ennio Morricone at the Royal Albert Hall, on stage for the best part of three hours, delivering one of the most superb concerts I’d ever attended. It was a bumper year – I saw John Barry’s final performance there, and my small local theatre hosted Michel Legrand and his […]



Because it made me laugh, and I used to do this with my brother too.

‘With John Wayne On The Xylophone’


In keeping with the once-fashionable idea that children were actually miniature adults in training whose brains needed treating in the same way, British pop culture used to provide anklebiters with their own comics, newspapers, variety shows and comedy series which were versions of what the grown-ups consumed. I’d completely forgotten about ‘Do Not Adjust Your […]

Favourite Soundtracks No.1: ‘Isabel’


Now that I’ve mastered the posting of chunks from my own soundtrack collection, I thought you might like a little accompanying music every now and again (yes, this site caters for all your needs. I’d feed you if I could. I’m a natural nurturer. Please tell your friends). So, themes in motion pictures – they’re […]

My Unhealthy Obsession With Film Music


It’s out of control now. I can’t help myself. I’ve always played film music while I write, but recent developments have forced me to take stronger measures than ever before, like an addict moving up to crack. I’d always had it under control. Okay, my soundtrack collection, which began when I was, oh, 10 years […]

Sing Another Funny Song


After posting about the peculiar world of comedy songs recently, a few other examples came to mind, including ‘Come Outside’ by Mike Sarne (who went on to direct the Hollywood disaster ‘Myra Breckinridge’) and Wendy Richards. Similarly, Hylda Baker and Arthur Mullard produced their own gruesome take on ‘You’re The One That I Want’ from […]