Rig 1 - Revox to laptop via Creative SBX converter. An electrical island with a single earth so least hum and buzz etc.
I’ve got going on one of my long-standing tasks at home: dubbing my analogue tape archive to digital. The earliest tapes go back to 1960 but the ones I’m most interested to hear are from my uni days at Nottingham and shortly afterwards. This was a period of fantastic development in music and these tapes track my emerging, and diverging, interests. This Revox tape recorder was my first big purchase from wages, before even a motorbike.
Rig 2: - Revox to Soundcraft Delta mixer, record to file server. Best for tapes that need minor restoration.
Nostalgia in my loft - my colours from biking 1977-81. Times like these are why we’ve kept this stuff. Staying at home is also about the attic/loft and those cupboards that don’t see daylight very often.
Riviera ride out - last ride before lockdown
Mike Arlen in conversation with Peter Paul Hartnett at Gay Photographers Network, London
Mike Arlen is one of the rare surviving giants of English gay history of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. His features were an essential part of gay men’s photo magazines, the sort that were sold in a plain brown envelope because it was impossible to show the cover in public for fear of outing or provoking a homophobic attack. Mike Arlen is not his real name, it turns out Mike’s freedom as a photographer was based on his wide experience as a journalist and photographer for popular magazines for the female audience: She, Woman’s Own etc. Mike told us stories of his meetings with Bassey, Bowie, Elvis and many more. He conformed to the conventions of the time by never mentioning anything contentious in his showbiz reporting, so Rock Hudson was never stated to be gay until the end.
Enjoying roast pheasant with this Grand vin de Bordeaux (Saint Julien AOC, Médoc). Here are my tasting notes.
One of the most satisfying hikes in Madeira. Big views of dramatic cliffs and beach boulders being pounded by the raw Atlantic. Rounded coves like the Jurassic Coast in Dorset but this is volcanic rock. Butterflies & lizards as well as the dramatic topography.
The Brighton Philharmonic return with their New Year Viennese Gala. Varied as ever and not restricted to the music of the Strauss family of the 1860s and 1870s, Brighton’s own orchestra draws a near sell-out audience to Brighton Dome on New Year’s Eve. Conductor Stephen Bell mounted the podium with a hop, skip and a jump and bounced along in the programme.
The Brighton Philharmonic is growing in strength and confidence, it’s obviously not an international orchestra though a number of the individual players work at that level for their day job. A sparking Die Fledemaus overture opened the concert with glorious woodwind. Ailish Tynan, soprano, was in good voice for the first of several vocal pieces. The woodwind continued to delight, as did the precise xylophonist. Franz Lehár’s Gold and Silver Waltz rounded off the first part of the programme, the strings giving a credible swirl to the sumptuous main waltz tune even in the relatively austere architecture of the Brighton Dome.