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What the Twist Did for the Peppermint Lounge

Dave Haslam: Club culture, 6 January 2000

Adventures in Wonderland: A Decade of Club Culture 
by Sheryl Garratt.
Headline, 335 pp., £7.99, May 1999, 0 7472 7680 3
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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey 
by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton.
Headline, 408 pp., £14.99, November 1999, 0 7472 7573 4
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Saturday Night For Ever: The Story of Disco 
by Alan Jones and Jussi Kantonen.
Mainstream, 223 pp., £9.99, April 1999, 9781840181777
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DJ Culture 
by Ulf Poschardt.
Quartet, 473 pp., £13, January 1999, 0 7043 8098 6
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Energy Flash: A Journey through Rave Music and Dance Culture 
by Simon Reynolds.
Picador, 493 pp., £12.99, July 1998, 0 330 35056 0
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More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction 
by Kodwo Eshun.
Quartet, 208 pp., £10, March 1998, 0 7043 8025 0
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... glorifying the work of the Velvet Underground over Motown releases, the production skills of Brian Wilson over those of Norman Whitfield, and the social significance and songwriting talent of John Lennon rather than James Brown – persists. Clearly, too, most rock writing foregrounds lyrics, whereas most dance music works through texture, beats and ...

Cod on Ice

Andy Beckett: The BBC, 10 July 2003

Panorama: Fifty Years of Pride And Paranoia 
by Richard Lindley.
Politico’s, 404 pp., £18.99, September 2002, 1 902301 80 3
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The Harder Path: The Autobiography 
by John Birt.
Time Warner, 532 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 316 86019 0
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... new medium. In 1952 he made contact with another producer looking for a TV project, Andrew Miller Jones. Miller Jones was an ex-Army officer with a yellow Rolls-Royce, the first of a large number of Panorama staff over the next fifty years with either a military background or an ostentatious personal style, or ...

Mysteries of Kings Cross

Iain Sinclair, 5 October 1995

Vale Royal 
by Aidan Dun.
Goldmark, 130 pp., £22.50, July 1995
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... from Chaucer to Spenser and Shakespeare and Donne, through Milton and Blake and Keats, to David Jones, Gascoyne, Dylan Thomas, Nicholas Moore, to Lee Harwood’s Cable Street, Bill Griffiths’s Whitechapel and Brian Catling’s The Stumbling Block. London infected its interpreters, soliciting contributions to an ...

If it’s good, stay there

Adam Mars-Jones: ‘Ghana Must Go’, 4 July 2013

Ghana Must Go 
by Taiye Selasi.
Viking, 318 pp., £14.99, April 2013, 978 0 670 91986 4
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... to remember the name of Ling’s brother-in-law, which is ‘standard-issue Caucasian, like Brian or Tim, a Californian, beige hair and beige skin and beige trousers’. Even with the disaster of Kweku’s desertion the Sai family makes its way in the world. Sadie is the closest the family has to an underachiever, and Sadie studies at Yale. Yet racism ...

Constellationality

Adam Mars-Jones: Olga Tokarczuk, 5 October 2017

Flights 
by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft.
Fitzcarraldo, 400 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 1 910695 43 2
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... even the translator’s, let’s assume it’s Dr Blau’s and that the book is choosing to give Brian May the last word in the scene: ‘There’s no chance for us/It’s all decided for us/This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us.’ For Taina and Dr Blau this is not that moment. There’s one​ noticeable omission from the book’s ...

Going Electric

Patrick McGuinness: J.H. Prynne, 7 September 2000

Poems 
by J.H. Prynne.
Bloodaxe/Folio/Fremantle Arts Centre, 440 pp., £25, March 2000, 1 85224 491 7
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Pearls that Were 
by J.H. Prynne.
Equipage, 28 pp., £4, March 1999, 1 900968 95 9
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Triodes 
by J.H. Prynne.
Barque, 42 pp., £4, December 1999, 9781903488010
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Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970 
edited by Richard Caddel and Peter Quartermain.
Wesleyan, 280 pp., $45, March 1999, 0 8195 2241 4
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... Penguin, Picador, Harvill or Faber anthologies. The editors give us a spread of generations, from Brian Coffey (1905-95) and Jonathan Griffin (1906-90) to Catherine Walsh (b. 1964) and Fred D’Aguiar (b. 1960), and represent a wide diversity of poetic practices. They also tell us the names of another fifty-odd poets they would have liked to put in ...

Diary

Christopher Hitchens: On Peregrine Worsthorne, 4 November 1993

... regiment or publisher, or who (having slavered with the best of them over the early flowering of Jones minor) is now a sleek and rotund editor of something like the Times or the Spectator. Peregrine Worsthorne, in this rather idle but charming book,* strives to come across as a sort of Catholic version of Gray. His father was a member of that Belgian ruling ...

Liberties

Brigid Brophy, 2 October 1980

Deliberate Regression 
by Robert Harbison.
Deutsch, 264 pp., £8.95, September 1980, 0 233 97273 0
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... Rome and Capua. If only Mr Harbison had known of it, he could have reduced atrocity to a Life of Brian giggle by remarking: ‘What a liberty.’ Only in the blankest ignorance could Mr Harbison assert that, in the ‘rearrangement of human nature’ which he locates in the 19th century, ‘capacities which had always been despised, the least knowable ...

Disgrace under Pressure

Andrew O’Hagan: Lad mags, 3 June 2004

Stag & Groom Magazine 
edited by Perdita Patterson.
Hanage, 130 pp., £4, May 2004
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Zoo 
edited by Paul Merrill.
Emap East, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
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Nuts 
edited by Phil Hilton.
IPC, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
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Loaded 
edited by Martin Daubney.
IPC, 194 pp., £3.30, June 2004
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Jack 
edited by Michael Hodges.
Dennis, 256 pp., £3, May 2004
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Esquire 
edited by Simon Tiffin.
National Magazine Company, 180 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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GQ 
edited by Dylan Jones.
Condé Nast, 200 pp., £3.20, June 2004
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Men's Health 
edited by Morgan Rees.
Rodale, 186 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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Arena Homme Plus: ‘The Boys of Summer’ 
edited by Ashley Heath.
Emap East, 300 pp., £5, April 2004
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Stag & Groom Magazine 
edited by Perdita Patterson.
Hanage, 130 pp., £4, May 2004
Show More
Zoo 
edited by Paul Merrill.
Emap East, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
Show More
Nuts 
edited by Phil Hilton.
IPC, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
Show More
Loaded 
edited by Martin Daubney.
IPC, 194 pp., £3.30, June 2004
Show More
Jack 
edited by Michael Hodges.
Dennis, 256 pp., £3, May 2004
Show More
Esquire 
edited by Simon Tiffin.
National Magazine Company, 180 pp., £3.40, June 2004
Show More
GQ 
edited by Dylan Jones.
Condé Nast, 200 pp., £3.20, June 2004
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Men’s Health 
edited by Morgan Rees.
Rodale, 186 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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Arena Homme Plus: ‘The Boys of Summer’ 
edited by Ashley Heath.
Emap East, 300 pp., £5, April 2004
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... for all that, it wears its density more or less lightly. It favours stories about gangland hitmen (Brian ‘The Milkman’ Wright, ‘during his drug-dealing days he always delivered’; John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer, once ‘one of Britain’s richest men, owning a fleet of private planes, helicopters, boats and cars’), and every few pages there’s a soap ...

Sticky Wicket

Charles Nicholl: Colonel Fawcett’s Signet Ring, 28 May 2009

The Lost City of Z 
by David Grann.
Simon and Schuster, 339 pp., £16.99, February 2009, 978 1 84737 436 3
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... a stetson, jodhpur-like trousers and tall leather boots. He looks like an Edwardian Indiana Jones, or some strange dystopian scoutmaster living half-wild in the woods. Fellow explorers described him as having an ‘indomitable will’ and ‘infinite resource’, a man ‘in hand to hand combat with the wilderness’. In Conan Doyle’s South American ...

Cinematically Challenged

Adam Mars-Jones, 19 September 1996

The Cinema of Isolation 
by Martin Norden.
Rutgers, 385 pp., $48, September 1994, 0 8135 2103 3
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... Mann’s Manhunter (1988), best known as a sort of prequel to The Silence of the Lambs, with Brian Cox doing a turn as Hannibal Lecter. The serial killer in the film is an Obsessive Avenger with a vengeance, murdering entire families of strangers carefully selected on the basis of the perfection of their normality. His psychology is obliquely explored in ...

That Impostor Known as the Buddha

Eliot Weinberger: Incarnations of the Buddha, 11 September 2014

From Stone to Flesh: A Short History of the Buddha 
by Donald S. Lopez Jr.
Chicago, 289 pp., £18, April 2013, 978 0 226 49320 6
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In Search of the Christian Buddha: How an Asian Sage Became a Medieval Saint 
by Donald S. Lopez Jr and Peggy McCracken.
Norton, 262 pp., £17.99, May 2014, 978 0 393 08915 8
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... that the Buddha was a Negro. Various British residents in India, including the great Sir William Jones, discoverer of the Indo-European language roots, echoed this: the Buddha had the nose and lips and the ‘crisp and woolly’ hair of Africans. (Others thought that the curls on the Buddha’s head were snails.) Athanasius Kircher, whose name is always ...

Because We Could

David Simpson: Soldiers and Torture, 18 November 2010

None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture 
by Joshua Phillips.
Verso, 237 pp., £16.99, September 2010, 978 1 84467 599 9
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... But they were greeted with almost unanimous critical disapproval and were box-office failures. Brian de Palma’s Redacted – in my view one of the two masterpieces among the four, along with Paul Haggis’s In the Valley of Elah – failed even to cover its modest production budget. There was no lack of star appeal in the films: Tom Cruise, Meryl ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... Interests for April 1994 shows the former whip and foreign office minister Tristan Garel-Jones to be an adviser to British Gas, the Union Bank of Switzerland and the civil engineering group Biwater International. David Mellor has amassed 12 paid consultancies since resigning from office, including Racal Tacticom, Ernst and Young, Short ...
The Bayreuth Ring 
BBC2, October 1982Show More
Parsifal 
directed by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg.
Edinburgh Film Festival, September 1982
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Parsifal 
by Lucy Beckett.
Cambridge, 163 pp., £9.95, August 1981, 0 521 22825 5
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Wagner and Literature 
by Raymond Furness.
Manchester, 159 pp., £14.50, February 1982, 0 7190 0844 1
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Wagner to ‘The Waste Land’: A Study of the Relationship of Wagner to English Literature 
by Stoddart Martin.
Macmillan, 277 pp., £20, June 1982, 0 333 28998 6
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Wagner and Aeschylus: ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Oresteia’ 
by Michael Ewans.
Faber, 271 pp., £12.50, July 1982, 0 571 11808 9
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... Schwarz (Fricka) and Heinz Zednik (Loge). Here, and throughout the cycle, the lighting was superb. Brian Large’s direction of the filming was sensitive, and provided a salutary contrast with the horrors of BBC Television’s Kata Kabanova. But although Wagner’s exploration of the corrupting, dehumanising effects of power naturally includes an indictment of ...

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