A Town Like New Orleans?

Off Air, Broadcast, W Stephen Gilbert

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 life in Leeds. Apart from the diversity of musical styles, the fragmentation of socio-political attitudes also came over.

Clive James, The Observer

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. Few real artistes despise business – in fact the more original they are, the more they tend to respect the workaday world – but it is a hallmark of the dabbler that he prides himself in being set apart, and so it proved here.

Something stirring up North

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 McNulty who doubtless knew, as I did, that Leeds is nothing like New Orleans but has its own stubborn brand of individualism and is worth keeping an eye on for just that reason.

A Town Like New Orleans? City, BBC2 (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 and enjoy the Jack Bennett All-Stars, Another Colour, Howard Sarna, the Roskoe Players, the Zero Slingsby Quintet and The Commies from Mars.

The making and breaking of street music

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 seen it, I deliberately went out and put money in every buskers collecting hat that I could see.

Today’s Television, Peter Davalle, The Times

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 so jazz, rock and folk groups that pack the pubs, the pavements and the front rooms of unlovely semi-detached houses.