Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Alternative TV

If I haven't been posting recently, it's in part because I've just spent ten days lazing on a beach without internet access, and partly because I've been engrossed in Cherry Red TV.

"Whassat" you say? Well, if you can overlook the ultra low-budget production, it's a great offshoot of the label that spawned it, and a terrific and candid look behind-the-scenes of the music biz. And, in fact, the production values are entirely appropriate, given Cherry Red's precarious and seemingly haphazard business methods over 30-odd years.
Highlights include interviews with small (mostly Cherry Red-affiliated, admittedly) label heads, such as Ann-Marie and David of Survival Records (aptly named, the label went from curating early electro from the likes of Tik and Tok and Drinking Electricity to, bizarrely, Celt folksters Capercaillie in more recent years), and Mike Alway talking about his label, El. Cherry Red label head Iain McNay also gets an hour to talk about, naturally, Cherry Red, but the channel is generous enough to feature anecdotes and business advice from like-minded individuals not connected with Cherry Red, including Nude's Saul Galpern, Bella Union's Simon Raymonde and the late Charlie Gillett of Oval.
The artist interviews are equally enlightening (and similarly cheaply-made); Cherry Red mainstays Louis Philippe, Bid (of The Monochrome Set) and Momus get to discuss their art, naturally, but so do Bridget St. John, John Otway, Alvin Stardust, Benjamin Zephaniah and Martin Newell. This eclectic mix is extended further by the inclusion of Brion Gysin and William Burrough's Final Academy Documents. Take a look and you'll see why I only manage a few blog posts a month...

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