Posts Tagged ‘Ghost Town’

Barney Bubbles: The Smash Hits interview

Friday, January 27th, 2012

bb-prof

Thanks are due to the indefatigable Brian McCloskey for turning up this little-known interview given by Barney Bubbles to journalist Johnny Black for an early 80s Smash Hits feature on the fledgling promo video industry.

The quotes from Bubbles appeared exactly 30 years ago in the issue of the teen mag dated Jan 21- Feb 3, 1982.

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Video for Ghost Town by The Specials directed by Barney Bubbles

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

This is the Barney Bubbles-directed video for The Specials’ 1981 number one hit Ghost Town.

Here Dorian Lynskey explains why the song is still the sound of a country in crisis.

Finally: The promo video for Rico’s Jungle Music

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Great to see Barney Bubbles’ promo for Rico’s 1982 single Jungle Music finally making it to Youtube courtesy of film-maker Lizzie Soden.

With Bubbles directing in the wake of his clip for The Specials’ Ghost Town (since Rico was part of Specials leader Jerry Dammers’ 2-Tone collective), Soden came up with the concept for Rico’s video with Steve Binnion.

“But I was an art student at the time and wasn’t in the union; we had to get a union crew for broadcast, so Barney and I co-directed with (Bubbles’ regular promos collaborator) Genevieve Davey producing,” says Soden. “Barney was inspiring and so generous.”

The Jungle Music film serves as a carnivalesque counterpoint to the appropriately dour Ghost Town, evoking in part the innocence of Technicolor 50s coffee bar newsreels.

As in Ghost Town, the musicians (including Dammers in his bluebeat hat-defying giant sombrero) travel in a classic car, but this time arrive to celebrate multi-cultural Britain, not mourn its inner-city decay.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

liz-junglejerry+rico

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Read all about Barney Bubbles’ music video directing adventures in the new edition of Reasons To Be Cheerful.

And visit Soden’s DaisyB Studios Youtube channel, where she has posted much else of interest, including the promo for another great track to emerge from this period of the 2-Tone story, The Boiler by Rhoda Dakar.

Meanwhile, to come up to date, here’s the ever-progressive Dammers with his Spatial AKA Orchestra and an excerpt of their cosmic take on Ghost Town from a performance last summer:

Fun for all the family at Howies

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Tommy The Talking Toolbox would have been proud.

Fun for all the family was had at Howies store in Bristol on Thursday night as our pals at the Barney-mad company hosted an evening to celebrate the publication of Reasons To Be Cheerful.

With the invaluable support and assistance of Howies mainmen Nick Hand (who also took these photos) and Tim March, we mounted a mini-display in a hitherto unused upstairs room as the first in a series of monthly events the guys are organising.

The core of our little taster was a collection of 24 of the 27 variations to the cover of Do It Yourself by Ian Dury & The Blockheads.

Pic: Nick Hand.

This seemed particularly appropriate since the site was once occupied by a Laura Ashley branch; some of the walls in the until-now disused upstairs space are still covered in her divinely daft and dated flowery wallpaper.

Part of the original artwork for 4000 Weeks Holiday (c) P. Kennedy/Reasons 2009

To keep the ID/BB theme going, we also displayed original artefacts and artwork, including the paste-up for what later became the cover of Ian’s 1984 album 4000 Weeks Holiday.

Thought to be among the very last projects Barney worked on, this has been contributed to the Reasons archive by our friend Pauline Kennedy. In her previous incarnation as Caramel Crunch, Pauline was Barney’s assistant and continued his work at such labels as Go! Discs.

  • Presentation in Howies’ denim room.
  • With a book signing and talk about Barney, complete with power-point presentation of images from the book, the evening was capped by Paul and Caz mixing up the aural medicine with DJ sets of Barney-related sounds. These, we’re happy to tell you, went down a storm.

    BARNEY BUBBLES SOUND SELECTION:

    Here’s a selection of 10 of the Barney best to warm the cockles (click on the links to download/buy):

    Eastbourne Ladies – Kevin Coyne (Marjory Razorblade 1973)

    Inbetweenies – Ian Dury & The Blockheads (Do It Yourself 1979)

    Lipstick Vogue –  Elvis Costello & The Attractions (This Year’s Model 1978)

    Fung Kee Laundry – Quiver (Gone In the Morning 1972)

    Love My Way – The Psychedelic Furs (Forever Now 1982)

    Opa-Loka – Hawkwind (Warrior On The Edge Of Time 1975)

    Post-War Glamour Girl – John Cooper Clarke (Disguise In Love (1978)

    Darling Let’s Have Another Baby – Johnny Moped (Cycledelic 1978)

    Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode (Speak & Spell 1981)

    Ghost Town – The Specials (single 1981)

    These are just a few examples of how the BBSS can get the joint jumping. For a playlist from Caz’s set see Howies’ blog  Brainfood.