Off Air, Broadcast, W Stephen Gilbert

Broadcast, 31 Aug 1981
W Stephen Gilbert
A Town Like New Orleans?
BBC2

The BBC Manchester series City was a more random collection of reports on where we’re at. I caught four editions, particularly enjoying Ian McNulty’s well thought-through film on musical life in Leeds. Apart from the diversity of musical styles, the fragmentation of socio-political attitudes also came over.

Art School Earnest was represented by the new wave outfit Another Colour, one of whose members indulged wild Spartist sproutings about “intellectual terrorism”.

In smart contrast was saxophonist busker Zero Slingsby reminiscing on his 39 court appearances for obstruction. He’s far more on the front line than Another Colour, but I suspect they’d have trouble validating the viability of his individualist cultural intervention.

Howard Sarna, who “always wanted to be a rock ‘n’ roll star when I was young, never quite made it”, now creates elaborate one-man recordings in his G-plan home – a nicely cut sequence (Patrick Haggerty, film editor).

There was rocky jazz, Irish pub music and electronic stuff from the Commies from Mars, who travel wordlessly in a Morris Minor shooting-brake.

McNulty shot it all in an assertive, rather ’60s style that, happily, didn’t sort ill with the subject.

Press & Related:

  • Off Air, Broadcast, W Stephen Gilbert August 31, 1981
    Broadcast, 31 Aug 1981
    W Stephen Gilbert
    Off Air
    BBC2

    The BBC Manchester series City was a more random collection of reports on where we’re at. I caught four editions, particularly enjoying Ian McNulty’s well thought-through film on musical ... more

  • Clive James, The Observer August 23, 1981
    Clive James
    The Observer
    23 Aug 1981

    An unintentionally wonderful programme called A Town Like New Orleans (BBC2) showed what happens when people whose proper concerns should be some form of fruitful labour start mucking about with art. ... more

  • Something stirring up North August 15, 1981
    The Times, 15 Aug 1981
    Dennis Hackett
    A Town Like New Orleans?
    BBC2

    All in all, very good television, may be occasional but delightful, beautifully photographed and edited and with no obtrusive interviewer. It was produced by Ian ... more

  • A Town Like New Orleans? City, BBC2 (1981) August 14, 1981
    Radio Times
    BBC2, 21:45
    CITY
    A Town Like New Orleans

    In every town there are thousands of musicians – ignored by both television and the music industry alike – playing live music for fun and very little money. Watch ... more

  • The making and breaking of street music August 14, 1981
    Daily Mail , 15 Aug 1981
    Mary Kenny

    They talk about books, plays, films, television programmes which ‘change your life,’ … But last night’s programme A Town Like New Orleans? had a direct influence on my behaviour. Having ... more

  • Today’s Television, Peter Davalle, The Times August 14, 1981
    Today’s Television
    The Times , 14 Aug 1981
    Peter Davalle

    A TOWN LIKE NEW ORLEANS? (BBC2, 9.45 pm) is about a musical explosion, or rather a series of pops, because this is a film about Leeds’ two hundred or ... more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *