Today’s Television, Peter Davalle, The Times

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

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. There’s even a couple swaying to flute and recorder among the daffodils of their back-garden.

The sounds of music are familiar enough to my ears, ranging from the innovatively interesting to the derivatively awful. What is special about Ian McNulty’s film is what the players have to say.

“We’re a working unit, trying to locate ourselves in different modes of production”, says the art student/rock player. “You always have to progress a bit”, says the shipping firm director/one man band who sings into what looks like a bath sponge and mixes in a percussion track from his tambourine and Ali Baba linen basket.

And there’s a real “find” – the busker-saxophonist, 39 times in court, who pastes all his summonses – grammatical mistakes and all – into a scrapbook and chortles over the collection. This man is to busking what Fred Dibnah is to steeplejacking.

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