Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Sat 8 Aug - Under Fire -Black Britain and the war effort in WW2 - Stephen Bourne

Under Fire, a new book on Black Britain and the war effort in WW2. The historian Stephen Bourne shares first-hand testimonies of black servicewomen and men and black civilians. Despite the fact many black civilians faced the discriminatory ‘colour bar’, many were determined to contribute to the war effort where they could, volunteering as air-raid wardens, fire-fighters, stretcher-bearers and first-aiders. Meanwhile, black servicemen and women, many of them volunteers from places as far away as Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana and Nigeria, risked their lives fighting for the Mother Country in the air, at sea and on land. We hear from recently collected accounts that shed light on the range of experiences from evacuees to entertainers, government officials, prisoners of war and community leaders. 'Under Fire' is available from the History Press.

Monday, 3 August 2020

Sat 1 Aug - Relationship with Nature - Lucy Lepchani and Sophie Meekings

Foraging and nature. Lucy Lepchani, poet, dyer and keen naturalist and Sophie Meekings, outdoor educator discuss how they experience and interact with the wilderness around us at this time of social distancing when many people are deepening their relationship with the natural environment.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Sat 25 July - A Tiny Band in the Rainforest - Sampler Album for Forest People

International and groovy tracks from artists asked to imagine what they might hear at a non-commercial gig on a small stage in the middle of rainforest. Any donations given for this first sampler will be sent to an indigenous-led human rights organisation to assist child refugees in Wamena, West Papua and all projects will raise awareness and funds for forest people throughout the world. The project is put together by Sarah Kate Michel (Pandora's Diary) and Jude Cowan Montague. Plus gnawa music from UK's foremost exponent of Moroccan gnawa music, Simo Lagnawi.

Listen Again - A Tiny Band in the Rainforest - Sat 25 July

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Sat 18 July - Martin Rowson & Jon Tregenna - PLAGUE SONGS

Martin Rowson and Jon Tregenna have produced an alternative musical poetry for our times. The Guardian cartoonist has produced a new ranting, boiling, rhyming splurge of poetry during lockdown which Jon Tregenna has set to music. Rowson & Tregenna speak about the project and the performers including Jane Williams from the Wild Willy Barrett Band and Jack Klaff, Bond henchman and much more.

Listen Again - Martin Rowson & Jon Tregenna - Plague Songs - Sat 18 July 2020

Sat 11 July - Chris Haigh 2 - Eastern Europe

Chris Haigh  violinist and fiddle educator on Eastern European traditions on his own journey of encounter with tunes and song from the other side of the Iron Curtain, growing up during the Cold War and being fascinated by musics of the former Soviet Union. Plus tunes from Chris's own theatrical Soviet Swing concept band the Kremlinaires. Chris is the author of Hungarian Fiddle Tunes and Exploring Klezmer Fiddle for Schott Music and his Youtube The Fiddle Channel  is educating a new generation of fiddle players.

Listen Again - Chris Haigh - Fiddle - Eastern Europe

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Sat 4 July - Chris Haigh - Violinist & International Treasury of Fiddlesticks

Chris Haigh violinist and fiddle educator shares something of his life story from Huddersfield Junior Orchestra through prog rock group the Speedy Bears to being the illuminary that we know and love for helping us through our instrument learning. Insights into playing swing, klezmer, 'composing a traditional sounding tune, riffs, bowing and styles. Is it hard to improvise? What is rock violin and why do so many guitar bands call you into the studio to play like the classical session players in Eleanor Rigby? Musings and some history. Plus country swing and I attempt a minor swing improvisation in the manner of Stephane Grappelli. Chris has written and published at least ten books covering so many aspects of fiddle education and in addition publishes useful 'how to' and information on the violin on 'The Fiddle Channel' on youtube  - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcpPCtg0HHPa42ZGsmphefg

Listen Again - Sat 4 July 2020 - Chris Haigh - Fiddle Educator

Sat 27 June - Klezmer instrumental - Francesca Ter-Berg

Klezmer – A Vessel of Song. Cellist and musicologist Francesca Ter-Berg (http://www.francescaterberg.com/) shares thoughts on the musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. Prayer, melody, beats, heterophony. With archival recordings and contemporary interpretations. For more information see thenewsagents.blogspot.co.uk.

Listen Again - Francesca Ter-Berg - Klezer

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Sat 13 June - Hassan Tha Kreator - Nigerian Sci Fi - Sci Fi Drama

Hassan tha Kreator Nigerian filmmaker talks about sci fi and his own work. At age 18 his first film Aduke bagged the best student movie in Nigeria. Also radio sci fi experimental drama from Ann Grim, Laura Netz, Jude Cowan Montague and Matt Armstrong.And launching 'Plague Songs' a new project of songs, lyrics by Martin Rowson, music by Jon Tregenna.

Listen Again - Sat 13 June - Nigerian Sci Fi - Hassan Tha Kreator

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Sat 20 June - Neapolitan Song - Norman Mine

The artist Norman Mine on Neapolitan song, teaching some classics songs include Funiculì Funiculà, and Munastero 'e Santa Chiara, and remembering what the music meant to him as a child from Naples who moved to Rome while he was at school and later to London as an adult. His family, dialect, the tunes and the significance of Neapolitan classic songs in his life, and of his first collaboration with sound artist Lori E Allen for the re-interpretaion of some classics as Il Sole Mio, Passione.

Listen Again - Sat 20 June - Neapolitan song - Norman Mine

Monday, 8 June 2020

Sat 6 June - Mark Stafford & H P Lovecraft

Graphic novel, HP Lovecraft, Busan (Korea), English countryside and more in conversation with Mark Stafford, cartoonist and fellow author with David Hines of Lip Hook 'a tale of rural unease' published by Self-Made Hero. We talk True Crime. With original Lovecraftian musics by Montague Armstrong. For more information see thenewsagents.blogspot.com

Listen Again - Mark Stafford & H P Lovecraft - Sat 6 June 2020

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Sat 30 May - Graphic Novels and Grandparents - Sarah Lippett & Danny Noble

Danny Noble discusses her own Jewish grandmas as part of her memoir Shame Pudding. Topics from rock 'n' roll, anxiety, picket lines and life growing up in the big city with a genius brother. Sarah Lippett chats about making a graphic novel about the life of her maternal grandparents, Stan and Nan. Plus lockdown music about a delightfully evil grandmother made by the Desperado Housewives with Helen McCookerybook and Kath Tait.

Listen Again - Graphic Novels and Grandparents - Sarah Lippett & Danny Noble

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Sat 23 May - Kevin Burke - IRISH FIDDLE

Kevin Burke from The Bothy Band and Patrick Street – considered one of the world's finest living fiddlers – talks about Irish music including jigs, reels, hornpipes and airs, mythologies, and his young life as a keen musician and member of an Irish family settled in New Eltham, learning tunes from his father's record collection and the Irish community in London. Subjects include the banshee, keening, seeing the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and a tribute to his talented and encouraging violin teacher.

Listen Again - Sat 23 May - Kevin Burke - IRISH FIDDLE

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Sat 16 May - Mike Barnes - PROG ROCK


Mike Barnes discusses progressive rock music in the UK in his book A New Day, Yesterday. Drawing from oral history collected from those who were present on the scene, Mike's conversation discusses the presence and absence of women in bands and in the scene and beyond, the abrupt end and rejection of many of its values in the advent of punk, and looks at how the longform, multi-sectioned compositions have influenced music beyond its heyday which featured artists such as Hawkwind, Sonja Kristina (Curved Air), Genesis, Pink Floyd. Still controversial to many, this period in new music has spawned a million arguments beyond its lifespan as to what was and wasn't 'prog'.

Listen Again - Sat 16 May - Mike Barnes on Progressive Rock

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Sat 9 May - Ana Silvera & Francesca Ter-berg - Yja - LADINO

Ana Silvera and Francesca Ter-berg introduce their project Yja – reimagining the Ladino songs of Ana's ancestors. The debut single, La Serena is one of many songs sung from a female perspective in Judeo-Spanish and which continued to be performed in domestic environments the Sephardic diaspora, particularly in eastern Europe. Archives, oral history, folk tales and the classically influenced early music revival are all part of the picture we have of Ladino music and help us speculate about music in the past. Songs about love, first crushes, revenge, snapshots of the time. Silvera and Ter-berg talk about their approach to the music as professional music-makers and composers.
Listen Again - Ana Silvera & Francesca Ter-berg - Yja - Ladino music

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Sat 22 Feb - Ben Morgan - VOLCANOES and MEDEA

Poet and author Ben Morgan on mythology and the underworld. How volcanoes stand as a link to an internal dimension, the red hot core at the centre of us all. Thoughts on traversing the geology, history and ancient religion of the Eastern Mediterranean: islands, monks, journeys, the damned and what we can do to save ourselves through psychic adventure in the footsteps of archetypes. Medea in Corinth (http://poetrysalzburg.com/medea.htm) by Ben Morgan is available from Poetry Salzburg. For more information see thenewsagents.blogspot.co.uk.

Listen Again - volcanoes & Medea - BEN MORGAN - Sat 22 Feb

Sat 2 May - HER INDOORS - Women Composers Collective

HER INDOORS is a compilation put together during lockdown to raise money for charity against domestic violence. With tracks from nearly 50 female artists, women-led projects, composers and players. The compilation is distributed via the Women Composers Collective and includes specially composed material and features previously published tracks from Viv Corringham, Ingrid Plum, Ode to Sleep, Viridian, Hazel Iris, Pelican Assembly, Kate Waterfield, Tigersonic, Helen McCookerybook, Pauline Sewards, Debra Watson, blt63, Isnaj Dui, Bloom de Wilde, Ruby, Flavia Goa, Kath Tait and Eileen Gogan among others. This programme plays some of the material on the album and talks about the project. The compilation is available at https://womencomposerscollective.bandcamp.com

Listen Again - Sat 2 May - Her Indoors - Women Composers Collective 

Sat 25 April - MUSETTE - Amanda Babington

Amanda Babington introduces court bagpipes of the 17th & 18th century France. Wear your silken shepherd robes and have your sheep beside you for this historical journey.  A rare programme on a unique instrument - there are not many musette players in the world today -the French Revolution led to this unusual performance art falling sharply out of favour, but it is an example of fun cultural mash-ups from the past. Amanda Babington is Artistic Director of Baroque In the North and an acclaimed musicologist. For more information see thenewsagents.blogspot.com

Listen Again - The News Agents Sat 25 April 2020 - Musette - Amanda Babington

Sat 18 April - Lucy Sullivan - BARKING

Author, artist and animator Lucy Sullivan (https://lucysullivanuk.com/) launches her debut graphic novel on Unbound this weekend. “Barking” is a book about mental health, grief, madness and the ghosts that haunt us. The third lockdown show of the News Agents, recorded on Zoom, with tracks from Rita Braga, Atsuko Kamura, Esbe and Crumpsall Riddle. A celebration of female artists and women's talent in multiple media. For more information see thenewsagents.blogspot.co.uk.

Listen Again - Sat 18 April 2020 - Lucy Sullivan - Graphic memoir - BARKING

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Sat 11 April - ART AND THE FUTURE - Laura Netz and Ann Grim

Art and the Future. Laura Netz and Ann Grim discuss the close future and the near future questioning the role of science fiction and how art and science create society. With extracts of original noiz tracks by Laura Netz. The first of a short series of shows by the three artists looking at the role of art and science in forming what is to come.This is the second News Agents Lockdown show.

Listen Again - Sat 11 April 2020 - Laura Netz, Ann Grim, Art and the Future

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Sat 4 April - DAVID MUNROW - Instruments of Mediaeval Music

David Munrow and the instruments of mediaeval music. Music from the Simon King Record Collection by Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London looking at the diverse musical tools of the period from shaum to slide trumpet to hurdy-gurdy. With music written by a variety of composers from the middle ages including Herman, Monk of Salzburg, Jehan d'Esquiri and Vincenzo da Rimini. The first lockdown show of the News Agents, recorded on West Hill, Hastings.

Listen Again - Sat 11 April - David Munrow - Mediaeval Instruments 

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Sat 7 Mar - The Wolf of Baghdad - CAROL ISAACS

The Wolf of Baghdad. Carol Isaacs on stories of the lost Jewish population of Iraq. Carol's graphic memoir of lost homeland (on Myriad Press) is a wordless narrative illuminated by family portraits and testimonies, which comes to life panel by panel as a motion comic with its own musical soundtrack. Music transports her avatar to the old Jewish quarter of Baghdad, which she explores, accompanied by the wolf, a talismanic animal believed to protect from demons but who is unable to prevent devastation from befalling the community.

Listen Again - THE WOLF OF BAGHDAD - Carol Isaacs - Sat 7 Mar

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Sat 15 Feb - SUMI PERERA - Printmaking and Contemporary Culture

Sumi Perera RE, acclaimed international artist, on the intellectual imagination, how this can be expressed in printmaking and related arts. Perera discusses some of the methods of traditional and contemporary printmaking and how its intriguing processes can be used to make important commentary on society and about the materials we use to construct our environment. With unusual selections of rock music from the Simon King Collection.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Sat 8 Feb - CHRIS ROBERTS author & Simon King Collection - African, Soul & Black Musics

Peeling through Simon King's record collection to uncover some of the African, soul and perhaps less-expected black musics that were stored in his garage or which may have made it onto the turntable for radio or gig. A voyage of discovery in vinyl. Plus Chris Roberts, author, on grief counselling and his new book, 'Bus Journeys in South London'.

Listen Again - Simon King Collection soul music - Chris Roberts author grief counselling - Sat 8 Feb

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Sat 1 Feb - Cihan Dumlupinar and Canay Cengen - TURKISH MUSIC

Canay Cengen and Cihan Dumlupinar speak about Turkish music, being musicians from Kadikoy living long term in London, about the music scene in Istanbul and their experience of the political situation in Turkey.  They share their thoughts on the cultural differences between being musicians in in the UK and Turkey and also play live in their own melodious and fluid guitar style.

Listen Again - Canay Cengen and Cihan Dumlupinar - Turkish/Kurdish Musics

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Sat 25 Jan - ESTONIA & THE ARTS - Triinu Soikmets

Narrative artist and curator Triinu Soikmets from Estonia is in London for the Baltica! Exhibition (Bermondsey). She shares her unique approach to story/poetry and photography and discusses the work of Estonian artists then and now, including Jüri Arrak known for his distinctive style and his collaboration with Rein Raamat on the giant of Saaremaa, Tõll the Great. Thoughts on Baltic mythology, magic and landscape, with extracts from Latvian & Estonian poetry and East European grooves.

Listen Again - Triinu Soikmets - Baltica! - Sat 25 Jan 

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Sat 18 Jan - David Wright - A HARPSICHORD PLAYER FROM BETHNAL GREEN

Harpsichord soloist and continuo player David Wright talks about the history of this compelling instrument and baroque opera, how he learned to play the keyboard by ear and stories of composers and performers on the streets of London. He comes from Bethnal Green and directed the first modern performance of Thomas Arne's ballad opera The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green. He tours worldwide with the London Concertante. Percussive strings, wild expressive musicianship and intimate insights from the most persuasive performer of early music. Featuring live harpsichord.


Listen Again - David Wright - Harpsichord - 18 Jan 2020

Sat 11 Jan - PLAYING GAY ON BRITISH TV - Stephen Bourne

Social historian and media writer Stephen Bourne presents his book 'Playing Gay in the Golden Age of British TV' and looks at issues of sexual identity as part of television viewing through the changing cultural decades. Armchair favourites, soaps and comedies such as 'Dad's Army', 'Crossroads','Doctor Who' and 'Steptoe and Son' are discussedalongside deliberately groundbreaking productions including 'Rock Follies' and 'Play for Today'.Listen Again - Stephen Bourne - PLAYING GAY ON BRITISH TV

Sat 14 Dec - ERNEST HEMINGWAY - with Cristen Hemingway Jaynes

Cristen Hemingway Jaynes on her new book 'Ernest's Way' about her great-grandfather's travels. An audio adventure with Ernest Hemingway, travelling from Paris to Havana with musical interludes and a few of bottles of his favourite Rioja.

Listen Again - ERNEST HEMINGWAY - Cristen Hemingway Jaynes

Sat 7 Dec - Punk Biologist LUCY ECKERSLEY

Punk biologist Lucy Eckersley talks wildlife and shares her passion for animals with cool incisive wit and sound knowledge of a professional science communicator. Stories from the empirical savannah of zoology, gathering data and tiger poo. As Lucy and Jude both hail from North Manchester there will be autobiographical reminiscences and musical inserts.

Sat 7 Dec - Punk biologist LUCY ECKERSLEY

Sat 30 Nov - RUSSIAN FOLK music and nihilist poetry

Experiments in news and arts with Jude Cowan Montague. This week: Russian music and nihilist poetry. Adventures through Russian folk sounds including fantasy re-imaginings of old culture contrasted with the brutalist humour of nihilist poetry that has a cult popularity. For more information see thenewsagents.blogspot.co.uk.

Listen Again - RUSSIAN FOLK MUSIC and nihilist poetry - with Riitta Hakkarainen