Mystery Dick at Aural Detritus

Gavin Burrows has given our recent performance at the Aural Detritus mini-festival in Brighton a nice writeup on his Lucid Frenzy Junior blog:

…I was most keen to see Mystery Dick, aka Ed Pinsent and Harley Richardson. I knew these gentlemen from their fine work in alternative comics and music fanzines, stretching right back to the Eighties. (Ed continues to run the mighty ‘Sound Projector’, “better listening through imagination since 1996”.) But not only had I never seen them live before, I’d not even heard their music. (I confessed this to Ed on the night, who commented “we’re more under than underground.” I later read from their website the last time they performed in public was a decade ago!)

They started off with swirling organ and twangy feedback guitar, like a lost soundtrack to ‘Carnival of Souls’, before heading off into something more minimalist and droney. It felt like the longer they played the less they played, in terms of chords and notes, and the harder it was to tell one’s contribution from the other. In other words, the better they played, as duration worked its magic. But by that point they’d left my meagre powers of description behind, which is probably best for all concerned.

Recent activity

  1. I joined Ed Pinsent in the Resonance FM studio for a tribute to Ennio Morricone:
  2. A scathing (but fair) piece I wrote on The Fallen, Dave Simpson’s book about ex-members of The Fall, appears in the latest issue of the Sound Projector:
  3. …as does a lengthy consideration of Peter Doggett’s excellent There’s A Riot Going On: revolutionaries, rock stars and the rise and fall of ’60s counter-culture

Paintwork#3: Repetition


Mark E Smith as a tree

Belated acknowledgement that Paintwork, the Praxis Hagen gallery’s travelling exhibition of art related to The Fall, has landed in Hamburg.

I have four marker pen portraits of Mark E Smith in the show and judging by these photos it looks like another excellent, eccentric collection of work.

Paintwork #3 runs till 31st Nov at the Galerie Borchardt, Hopfensack 19, 20457 Hamburg

The Fall play Hamburg on the 5th Nov.

Pestrepeller play the Equinox festival on Sunday 14th June 2009

Next month Pestrepeller play our first live gig in over five years, at the Equinox Festival in London.  Billed as ‘A Festival of Scientific Illumination’, it will be ‘a cross cultural platform for the exhibition of creative and innovative approaches to spiritual discovery’, a  multi-media event with talks (including one by friend of Pestrepeller, Edwin Pouncey), films and music from the likes of John Zorn, Comus and Z’EV.

It will be the first stage appearance for the expanded Pestrepeller which features Sharon Gal and Peter Hope-Evans, as well as ‘core trio’ Savage Pencil, Harley Richardson and Ed Pinsent.  This is the version of the band that recorded Alphabet of Daggers, the still unreleased follow-up to Isle of Dark Magick, as well as the track As Wolf which appeared recently on a picture disc.

Venue – Conway Hall in Holborn, London

Tickets are on sale here – Sunday-only passes cost £27, weekend passes (Friday-Sunday) cost £80

Last few days of the Paintwork show

Get yourself down to the SW1 Gallery in Victoria this week to catch the Paintwork show which closes on Friday.

The only thing that links the artworks on show is that their creators have some connection or other to The Fall, but whilst this might seem like a recipe for artistic incoherence, the show is engagingly weird, lively and fun and well worth checking out.  (See this great set of photos posted by Stefan from Fall News.)  And if you’re lucky you’ll get a personal tour from curator ‘German Bert’.

SW1 Gallery, 12 Cardinal Walk, Roof Garden Level, Cardinal Place (Off Victoria Street), London SW1E 5JE

Open 12noon – 8pm each day

Paintwork # 2


I have some drawings in a London exhibition which starts this week.  Opening night this Thursday (14th May), 7pm-10pm, all welcome!

Paintwork # 2, 15-29 May 2009
SW1 Gallery, Victoria, London

Art about or inspired by The Fall, the UK’s hardest-working group and the ONLY band to deliver on the promise of the punk years.  Led by Mark E Smith, charismatic storyteller, hard-line front man and BBC football score keeper.

Opening event Thurs 14th May (7-10pm), live music 15th May


  • cover artists – Pascal le Gras, Anthony Frost, Savage Pencil, Claus Castenskiold, Mark Kennedy, Suzanne Smith (sister of Mark)
  • musicians – Jeffrey Lewis, Knud Odde (Danish rock legend), Jowe Head (Swell Maps), Safy Sniper, Globo
  • fine artists – Dave Muller, Rik van Iersel, Paul Housley, Tommy Crooks (ex-Fall member)
  • cartoonists – Elaine Will, Harley Richardson
  • photographers and film makers – Michael Pollard, Robert Palumbo

Full details in attached press release.

SW1 Gallery, 12 Cardinal Walk, Roof Garden Level, Cardinal Place (Off Victoria Street), London SW1E 5JE

More info:

Pestrepeller’s As Wolf available now

cover_aswolf_largeThe My Cat Is An Alien / Pestrepeller split picture disc featuring artwork by Robert Opalio and Savage Pencil is finally out, on A Silent Way records.

The Pestrepeller side of the disc is given over to 20 minute epic ‘Aswolf’, the first public evidence of the current Pestrepeller ‘noise quintet’ featuring Sharon Gal.

Limited edition of 500, available now c/o Rhythm Online.

For more info about Pestrepeller visit

The Sound Projector 17

The latest issue of The Sound Projector, Ed Pinsent’s hefty annual survey of interesting music, has hit the streets.

For over a decade now, the magazine has ploughed an unfashionable furrow, championing the alternative, overlooked and avant garde. It thankfully steers clear of the pretentious language usually associated with ‘Art’ criticism, instead bringing honesty, healthy scepticism and insight to the subject and making a lively and straight-talking case for why this music is important and can enrich our lives.

The magazine sees music as an active, not a passive experience, as born out in both its motto ‘better listening through imagination’ and Ed’s uncanny facility for translating his listening experiences into evocative visual descriptions. Helped by regular contributors Jennifor Hor, Richard Rees Jones and Aaron Robertson, he investigates such diverse areas as folk music, Black Metal, field recordings and, this issue, Australian surf music.

My contribution to this issue is an essay which explores the thinking behind the Guilty Pleasures (TM) phenomenon, whereby music fans confess their love for uncool records by the likes of Phil Collins or David Essex, and finds it wanting. By way of comparison, readers may also be interested in the appreciative surveys of 90s chart music which I compiled for previous issues of the mag; the issues in question are now sold out but the first of them can be downloaded as a pdf via Scribd (see The Chartists, p76). Happy readings!

The Sound Projector 17 – 172 (!) pages for £7.00 + postage, available online or via discerning record shops.

Bad Weather Report

Sat in again for Ed Pinsent on the Sound Projector show last Friday, where I mixed a bunch of diverse tracks into an impressionistic take on this summer’s weather.

Listen here.


A collage of the following tracks:

  1. Pharoah Sanders, ‘The Creator Has a Master Plan’
    From Karma, EC IMPULSE! IMP11532 CD (reissue 1995; original issue 1969)
  2. Spontaneous Music Ensemble, ‘Withdrawal Soundtrack – Part 1A’ (1966)
    From Withdrawal, UK EMANEM EMANEM420 CD (1997)
  3. Can, ‘Peking O’
    From Tago Mago, EU SPOON SPOONCD006/7 CD (reissue 1989; original issue 1971)
  4. Damon & Naomi, ‘The Earth is Blue’
    From The Earth is Blue, USA 20|20|20 202020.01 CD (2005)
  5. Les Baxter, ‘Tahiti: A Summer Night At Sea’ (1957)
    From The Fruit of Dreams, UK EL RECORDS AMEM57CD CD (2005)
  6. The Feelies, ‘Away’
    From Only Life, USA A&M RECORDS AMA5214 LP (1988)
  7. Old Time Relijun, ‘Cold Water, Deep Underwater’
    From Lost Light, USA K RECORDS CD (2004)
  8. Creedence Clearwater Revival, ‘Ramble Tamble’
    From Cosmo’s Factory, UK FANTASY CDFE505 CD (reissue date unknown; original issue 1970)
  9. Francesco López, ‘La Selva’
    From La Selva, NETHERLANDS CD (1998)
  10. Soundtrack to Psychomania feat. Beryl Reid and George Sanders (1973)
    From V/a comp Savage Pencil presents Angel Dust: Music for Movie Bikers, UK BLAST FIRST FU3LP LP (1988)
  11. Sonic Youth, ‘Rain on Tin’
    From Murray Street, USA GEFFEN RECORDS 493319-2 CD (2002)
  12. Raymond Scott, ‘Space Mystery (Montage)’ (1963)
    From Manhattan Research Inc., HOLLAND BASTA 90782 2XCD (2000)
  13. Annea Lockwood, ‘Wine Glass’ (1968-1970)
    From Early Works 1967-82, USA EM RECORDS EM1064CD CD (2007)
  14. Silver Apples, ‘Water’ (1968)
    From Silver Apples / Contact, EU TRC TRC039 (1994)
  15. P Reno, ‘Secrets of the Deep’ (1963)
    From V/a comp Lunar Probe, details unknown
  16. Hugh Le Caine, ‘Dripsody’ (1955)
    From V/a comp OHM: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music: 1948-1980, USA ELLIPSIS ARTS CD3670 3XCD (2000)
  17. Boredoms, ‘Super Going’
    From Super æ, USA BIRDMAN BMR019 CD (1998)
  18. Joe Meek feat. the Blue Men, ‘Glob Waterfall’
    From I Hear a New World, UK RPM RECORDS RPM103 CD (reissue 1991; original issue 1960)
  19. The Velvet Underground, ‘Ride Into The Sun’ (1969)
    From Bootleg Series volume 1: The Quine Tapes, USA POLYDOR 514589067-2 3XCD (2001)
  20. Black Sabbath, ‘Black Sabbath’
    From Black Sabbath, UK CASTLE COMMUNICATIONS CLACD196 CD (reissue 1986; original issue 1976)
  21. Ground Zero, ‘Miagetegoran, Yoru no Hoshi wo’
    From Plays Standards, UK RER MEGACORP RERGZ3 (reissue 2002; original issue 1997)
  22. Bongwater, ‘Rain’
    From Double Bummer +, NETHERLANDS SHIMMY DISC EUROPE SDE8901/DCD-2 2XCD (1989 expanded reissue; original issue 1988)

The Sound Projector radio show,
originally broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM

Dub and Reggae show this Friday on Resonance FM

I’ll be sitting in for Ed Pinsent on The Sound Projector radio show again this Friday, filling the airwaves and copper pipes with the heavy sounds of dub and reggae, in what will be a follow up of sorts to the show Ed did way back in 2004.

As usual, central Londoners can tune in on 104.4 FM and the rest of you can hear it online at

The Sound Projector show
Friday 22nd August 2008
5.30pm – 7.00pm