November Culture Corner
CULTURE SPECIAL: DARRYL W. BULLOCK
Q&C's Darryl W. Bullock gives us his cultural highlights for the month ahead, including an album reissue from a long-forgotten R'n'B legend, some Soviet post-punk feminist art at the Saatchi, iconic movie re-releases for those all important stocking fillers and a very special Victorian Christmas experience in Tyntesfield.
Q&C has its mittens at the ready as Christmas gets ever closer and temperatures drop even more. I’m already getting frost in my moustache, and the dog seems less and less keen on his morning walkies. Never mind; the heating is on, the coffee is hot and there’s plenty of fun to be had indoors this month.
When researching my latest book I discovered the incredible Jackie Shane, a trans woman working in Canada and the US who made some groundbreaking R’n’B recordings during the 1960s. Jackie went off the radar in the early 70s and has not been heard of since – until now, that is.
Now 77 years old, and after almost 50 years Jackie has resurfaced, and the Numero Group has issued a new collection of her work Any Other Way, the only one to date officially sanctioned by Jackie herself. This limited edition 2-LP set (also available on CD) features extensive liner notes and loads of previously unseen photos.
Jackie had an incredible life, including stints playing with a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix, and reviewers could not quite make up their minds if she was a he or he was a she… not that it mattered, as her records were outrageously good. Stand out tracks include ‘Any Other Way’ (her biggest hit) with its’ eye-opening line ‘tell her that I’m happy, tell her that I’m gay’, and the blistering ‘Sticks and Stones’. If you like Otis Redding, Arthur Conley, James Brown and the like then buy this album. You will not be disappointed.
Any Other Way is out now via the Numero Group:
Christmas, of course, is just around the corner, and if you’re stuck for a last minute gift, or just fancy filling a few gaps in your own collection, then Warner Brothers are reissuing a selection of all-time classic movies as part of its Iconic Moments series. Available on DVD (£5.99) and Blu-Ray (£8.99), the collection includes festive favourites The Wizard of Oz and Gremlins, classics including Casablanca and Singing in the Rain, and more recent favourites such as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, all available now.
If you’re heading in to London to do your Christmas shopping then you might want to take a few hours out to visit Inside Pussy Riot at the Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road. Running from November 14 until Christmas Eve, this fully-immersive exhibition comes from Les Enfants Terribles theatre company, the creators of the Olivier-nominated immersive smash hit Alice’s Adventures Underground, and coincides with the Saatchi Gallery’s Art Riot: Post Soviet Actionism exhibition.
Inside Pussy Riot is the story of Nadya Tolokonnikova‘s tribulations as the founder of the post punk, feminist art collective that stuck two fingers up at the Russian system and suffered the consequences. To mark the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, audiences are encouraged to pull on the balaclava and stand up for what they believe in. Stand in the dock as Pussy Riot and live the realities of incarceration through this exhilarating theatre experience. Would you sacrifice everything for the sake of a punk prayer for a freer world? Inside Pussy Riot seeks to remind audiences what actually happened and how our basic human rights and freedom of expression can be taken away at any point.
If joining the revolution is a bit too full-on, a trip out to Tyntesfield, near Bristol for their annual Victorian Christmas experience is an altogether different, and certainly more genteel, immersive experience. From 25 November to 3 January visitors to the Tyntesfield estate will be able to experience the festive life of its Victorian owners, the Gibbs, and their estate workers as they prepare for and enjoy the festive period.
Visitors will get an insight into how the family prepared for Christmas, with Mrs Gibbs planning her annual pantomime, the servants busy decorating the house, and the gentlemen of the house hiding away from the commotion. This year for the first time the Christmas experience will be spilling into the outdoors, with friends of the Gibbs family milling around admiring the estate, taking an interest in what their friends have created and the preparations for Christmas Day. At the weekends, the estate workers will also be busy making deliveries by horse and cart, and serving hot spiced apple juice in the Chapel courtyard. To cap it all, eight local choirs will be performing on evenings throughout December in the beautiful surroundings of Tyntesfield’s chapel.
Details of all the Christmas events and activities at Tyntesfield are available at: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield
Finally for this month, if you should happen to find yourself in the North I shall be taking part in Homotopia, the UK’s leading LGBT arts & cultural festival which is happening throughout November at venues across Liverpool. I’ll be in conversation with record producer Steve Levine (Culture Club, XTC, The Clash etc.) on November 22 at Waterstones at Liverpool One, but there are more than 50 events – exhibitions, performances, discussions, film screenings and more - during the festival’s run.
Find out more at www.homotopia.net