Tuesday, 21 August 2018

‘Albion’s Secret History- Snapshots Of England’s Pop Rebels And Outsiders’

Over the last couple of months 3AM Magazine have been trailing chapters of a book of mine, titled ‘Albion’s Secret History- Snapshots Of England’s Pop Rebels And Outsiders’ (which is currently out for review.)

The volume seeks to cast light on unappreciated aspects of English culture, which have contributed of the nation’s view of itself. Shying away from the narrative that dutifully follows The Beatles, The Sex Pistols and Oasis in this volume I turn to influencers as eclectic as Aldous Huxley, Shelagh Delaney, PJ Harvey, Patrick Wolf and The Libertines.

The three chapters 3AM have published so far can be found through these links-

‘In interviews regarding their formation, Hurts described a desperate trip to Italy in which they discovered the sounds of Disco Lento, a genre of music concerned apparently with ‘slow, electronic ballads’. Disco Lento seems a wispy and attractive as the bands aesthetic- try to pin down exactly what it is and it slips through your fingers. The Wikipedia page that once existed for this genre has long vanished, making Disco Lento a physical and digital ghost.’

‘Suede's Brett Anderson claims that much of the imagery on songs like ‘Introducing The Band’ are a result of giving his subconscious free reign. He delved into books on witchcraft, sex and Aleister Crowley, as well as his protégé, Kenneth Anger. Crowley’s whole shtick was that, in the practice of ‘Magick’ the mind can overpower matter. It is about more than visions — it is about manifesting those visions through incantations- another word for which might be songs.' 

‘Arthur Smith’s portrayal of the feminine in Rachel Weisz’s character is curious, heavily freighted as it is with the vague aspirations of the era. Culture always idealises what it hasn’t yet focused in terms of ambition, later lending period pieces a curiously doubled nostalgia. In many ways, Rosy represents the archetypal ‘English rose’, with the petite cardigans, the prim demeanour. But there is an added layer of psychic mysticism woven in – she is also a poet.’