Grandmaster Flash: The Message

It’s a sweltering Wednesday night in Manchester, as we await the special guest. The opening act has gone, the stage has been cleared, and is set for the trailblazer of modern turntable technicians and self-styled scientist, Grandmaster Flash. Hip hop has changed immeasurably since its salad days, where a raw, anti-disco, New York underground movement […]

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Is Beige the New Black?

When I was very young I remember asking a friend’s sister if she was ill, because the colour of her complexion had changed so dramatically. Following a number of implausible excuses, she finally admitted that she had been using skin lightener on her face because, “It’s the only way I’m going to get on in […]

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Jumping the Shark: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

It was the personification of spangly TV sci-fi served with a thick slice of Colby cheese. Produced in the 70’s and based 500 years into the future, Buck Rogers envisioned a post-apocalyptic 25th Century Earth where space-age villainy, stargates and copious amounts of spandex reigned supreme. Cryonically induced into a state of suspended animation following […]

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Witchfinder General: Vincent Price as a Monster

In 1967, Vincent Price travelled to Britain to make low-budget horror, Witchfinder General (1968). Unfortunately, he wasn’t the first choice for the role. It was a predicament which 24-year-old director Michael Reeves mercilessly used to his advantage. Set in 1645, during extreme turbulence and lawlessness exacerbated by the English Civil War, the opening scenes depict […]

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Love Letter to Laurel and Hardy

In the distant past when the arrival of December heralded the countdown to Christmas and not as contemporary mores decree, the festooning of department store windows with tinsel and assorted Winter Wonderlands in September; the onset of depressingly dark, frosty mornings also signalled a double bill of classic shorts featuring the Grandmasters of Slapstick; Messrs. […]

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