Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Bewitchment



Gosh, this is exciting. A short preview of the new Broadcast and Focus Group mini-Lp "Broadcast and the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age". At 50 minutes, it doesn't seem particularly mini, and calling it an EP seems to be selling it somewhat short. The film is presumably a taste of what can be expected at the Into the Vortex weekend, where Broadcast will be playing to a Julian House film (and it is he who hides behind the Focus Group moniker) at the end of a night atmospherically billed as New Realms of the Uncanny. The Caretaker and Mordant Music will also be playing in what looks like it could be a very special Sunday evening on 11th October. The short film opens with a shot of a gibbet which immediately brings Witchfinder General to mind. In an interesting interview in this month's Wire magazine, Trish Keenan claims "The Curse of the Crimson Altar" as a big influence on the EP. Oh Perhaps she identifies with the dark-haired Barbara Steele, although the Bava icon is sorely misused in the above film, her brief scenes spent inexplicably painted green and sporting some uncomfortably heavy-looking horned headwear. Hopefully there will be more traces of films such as the aforementioned Witchfinder General and Blood on Satan's Claw, as well as TV series such as my perennial favourite Children of the Stones and the Doctor Who goes Nigel Kneale serial The Daemons, which does indeed get a mention in the article. Apparently it was filmed in the village of Aldbourne, not far from Broadcast members' Trish Keenan and James Cargill's new home town. Mention is also made of the 70s children's tv series Sky, recently released on dvd by Network and one of a number of contemporary dramas which unearthed ancient landscape mysteries at a series of megalithic and other bronze and iron age sites. Hopefully Network may soon release Jeremy Burnham and Trevor Ray's follow up to Children of the Stones, Raven, which starred a young Phil Daniels. They have already released King of the Castle, a drama set in a phantasmagorical labyrinthine dreamworld within a tower block, whose levels the protagonist has to negotiate to return to his reality.
Anyway, the album is available to download now, but is out properly, ie in physical form, on 26th October. Can't wait.

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