Here’s a curio for the discerning Starburst reader. South West filmmakers Louis Hessey-Antell and James Weir have made a documentary about Bristol’s Pub-Rock scene. Now, as excellent as Barfly Boogie (2013) is, you might wonder what this has to do with Starburst. Well one of Bristol’s most popular bands are The Atomic Rays and no movie on the subject would be complete without them; in fact they open and close proceedings in the film. As it happens The Atomic Rays have a couple of Starburst connections: Firstly they are deeply immersed in the world of sci-fi by way of their fictional Cold War biography, legendarily retro posters and their strange habit of using monster movie back-projections when they gig. Also, their bass player Ray Gunn is, in another life, really Starburst writer John Knott. The film even features an interview with the (only) mildly lubricated Knott and singer Ray D8.
“Yeah, me and Andy talked utter rubbish for an hour or so but Antell and Weir cut it down and have done an excellent job of making us sound surprisingly coherent”, he rambled.
The live footage in the documentary is particularly well shot but we asked what happened to the Rays’ trademark sci-fi movies: “Well I think we were going to show Godzilla vs King Kong (1962) that night as it’s perfect Rock n’ Roll accompaniment but the projector picked that night to stop working for the second and final time”. So there you are. “I’m buggered if I’m repairing the bloody thing again”, he added. Apparently a new projector is in the pipeline.
The film also features Out ‘n’ Running playing a lively one at The Cat & Wheel and Angel Up Front performing one of their last gigs with the enigmatic Suzi Adger (they now have a new Angel).
Antell and Weir’s latest project is on the North Bristol Art Trail but a feature on Manchester-based sci-fi magazines of extreme longevity can only be a matter of time.
Barfly Boogie is, currently, exclusive to YouTube and be watched here.
Knott is the fat hairy bass player in The Atomic Rays. You might have seen him as a fat hairy delivery man in that Wallace and Gromit thing a couple of months ago. Fat and hairy is what he does. He also tells us a new projector will be purchased soon as their Curry’s coupon runs out in a couple of weeks. No, really. Ah, the glamour of Pub-Rock...
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