A Town Like New Orleans? BBC2
by W Stephen Gilbert
31 Aug 1981
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.