Sunday, 6 November 2016
I did manage to get to the Folk Horror Revival conference at the British Museum last month. It was totally sold out and very busy (how I dislike modern lecture theatres with long continuous cramped rows with no aisles between them). A lot of the subject matter was already familiar to me, but one or two leads will be followed up. A few days earlier I watched Robin Redbreast for the first time, a Play for Today with a nicely sinister performance from Bernard Hepton. Two special guests put in an appearance towards the end - Shirley Collins and Reece Shearsmith, who both participated in the Q&A. Shirley Collins mentioned that when she lived in Hastings and walked with her mother and sister along the Ridge, there was one point where they crossed over the road - to avoid 'the house where Aleister Crowley lived' (Netherwood - see my book).
Even though I don't make an effort to see him talk any more (as I once did) Iain Sinclair was one of the most interesting speakers, making some insightful comments on Witchfinder General and its director Michael Reeves. A good review of the event here. Very nifty badges given out, by the way. I met English Heretic (who should have been asked to speak or perform - he was name checked at the conference) at the end and we went for a drink. We discussed doing a joint event next year in Hastings similar to the one at the Electric Palace in 2012, but at a different venue.
Richard Cavendish died a couple of weeks ago. A historian who wrote extensively on the occult before it was being seriously investigated by the Academy (very different situation these days), Cavendish was the editor of the hugely influential early 1970s journal Man Myth and Magic (I picked up a bound edition from Treadwells a few years ago) - he also wrote on Arthurian matters. Obituary here (cannot find one that is non-subscription at the moment).
Gary Lachman will be talking about his new biography of Colin Wilson at Westminster Reference Library on Friday 9th December between 6.30 and 8.00. This is a free event. Booking details very soon. Copies of the Secret Tunnels of England book will be on sale - Gary contributed an excellent essay.
The monumental Pink Floyd Early Years box set is released next week, at great expense. I think their transition from avant grade experimentalists to multi-million selling chart act is fascinating, although I could safely never listen again to anything since Wish You Were Here. Amongst a number of rarities are recordings made with the book-destroying artist John Latham. See this article by David Toop.